Sunday, March 18, 2012
38 and 108
I started my day with another 108 sun salutations. Spring is here, though snow dusted the rooftops as I moved through breaths. Yoga is stronger than ever in my life right now. It serves as this lovely lens, this perfect insight into what's happening inside of me. Some days my practice feels fluid, I feel strong and grounded, mind clear, heart full. Other days my legs are like lead, I keep thinking, wow, this is really, really hard, my neck sore, my shoulders too close to my ears.
I didn't think much about what I was getting into before I left the house this morning. After achieving my little goal of 108 sun salutations in honor of each season, the year after Sol was born, I've kind of not been too concerned about it. I'm realizing that I have really strange standards and goals for myself. The older I get, the more content I am in my own skin, more easy-going I am with just being however I am right then. Oh, and I turned 38 last week. So far, not bad.
So it was fun to track my mind this morning. I wanted to be in my own space, so I etched out a little area for myself in the back of the room. Two young guys who had never been to the studio were my closest neighbors. It was nice energy to be around. Light and spontaneous. Free of expectation.
We began and I stayed pretty present in my body, in my breath. Brian began with mellow, yogic tunes and that fit the gray morning vibe. But at the halfway point, he took things up a notch, as he likes to do. There it was. The song that starts my every morning, every return to the home, every post bath request: "Sunshine?" Soli rivals Brian for the who loves Michael Franti the most prize. The song began. The song that Jeff and I have already talked about will be that song we need to hear when we miss our children, their infancy, their early years. Soli could listen to, The Sound of Sunshine, all day long. Really. He waves his arms in the air and spins. He sings along at the beginning, "One, two, three...uh huh." He even has Caroline on board (well, I guess I could have helped with that a bit) so now he gets Sunshine at his day-care as well.
The new beat invigorated me. Made me laugh at the irony of my life. That even when I'm trying to do something for myself, I so totally cannot escape my children. With Sol's soundtrack in the background, I began to get lost in images of my boy. Just last night at the Mudslide Charley show, the way Sol stood at the foot of the stage the whole time, bounced with complete focus to the bass player, attracted smiles and comments and photos from all the other brewery patrons. By the end of the set, the bassist was letting Soli strum, would get on his knees and look him in the eye, play just for him.
I saw this window into the soul of my child last night. The soul of this boy who so loves rhythm, who feels it. I thought about how we don't have a single instrument in the house. My mom always tinkled away at the piano, my dad sang to us from his guitar. Sol's had a fraction of the singing from me that his sister had, poor second born. Yet he has this other worldly attraction to music. He does not focus for long on much, pinball machine's around the house like a little silver ball, destroys things, takes them apart, laughs and makes a tremendous mess. But not last night. He didn't even need me around as he was totally lost in his own world. A world of guitars and rhythm and blues.
So I let his world permeate the second 50 or so of my salutes. I got lost in the music. These songs that I know so damn well because, whether I want it or not, they inevitably start my day. Listening to them without the chaos of the morning -- the poached eggs in the pan, the mismatched socks, me frantically trying to brush my hair while they play tag between my legs, the dog rubs against my hip -- was a new indulgence. It was like being on vacation or something. On vacation with full appreciation for the life you'd taken a break from.
I think that's how I'm feeling right now. I've done a lot of work to get through this second year of Soli's life with some semblance of grace, this second year of life with two children, three jobs, a husband who I work with, ailing in-laws up the road, friends I yearn to see, dances I yearn to create, books I yearn to read, sleep I yearn to have. It's really, really intense. But then it's not. Because it's all I know. It's my own wild creation. And grace comes when I just fully participate in the moment that I'm in.
I had a nightmare last night. It involved Solomon and my in-laws and this huge sense of vulnerability that I feel sometimes. I think I was dealing with some post-traumatic stress residue from Friday morning. It was one of those chaotic, "Sunshine" mornings in our little house. We were all dragging, as by Friday's, we're usually pretty exhausted by the whole thing. I kept pestering the kids to get dressed. Then I looked at myself, still in my flashdance night shirt and pajama pants.
Okay, guys. Mommy's gonna get dressed while you two play. But when I come back in here, it's time to move.
They were playing some goofy game in Soli's crib where Elie was pretending to be the mama. She'd cover him with blankets and tuck him in and then nimbly climb out of the crib to pretend to go about other mama business. Of course Sol, being the younger, less capable child that he is, wanted to crawl out of the crib too. In my rushing haste, I scooped him up and put him on the ground. No. Soli. Myself. He said. Oh, okay, you want to try it too? Okay. And I picked him up and put him back in.
About 15 second later I was peeing and I heard an enormous thud followed by hysterical crying. I walked in and saw my boy in a bloody heap on the hardwood floor. He was wailing. Wailing like he never wails. I started panicking, picked him up, paced around, kissed him madly while his blood gushed over the work clothes I'd finally managed to put on. I shouted at Eliana: Get dressed NOW, Elie! We have got to go! I couldn't tell if the blood was coming from his nose or lip or both. I was pretty certain it wasn't his head, though I had no idea how he'd landed. I couldn't get Jeff on the phone and wanted to see him. Thankfully Caroline picked up, so I was able to talk for a moment to someone whose judgement I wholly trust, someone who could tell me what to look for. Sometimes even when you know what to do, it's nice to hear someone else tell you to do the same thing. I got ice and a towel, bundled him up, and took off around the corner for school.
I needed to get Eliana into her classroom so I could actually focus for a second on Soli. When she was out of the mix, I let myself crumble. I cried and felt so much sadness for my little boy. My baby. My baby who I had put back in his crib just so that he could hurl himself out. Of course, in my wildest dreams, I never thought he'd actually attempt to throw himself out of his crib. But I shouldn't have put it past him. My kinesthetic maniac. My soulful mover. Of course he'd want to attempt what his sister did.
Sol, thank goodness, was fine. But I couldn't escape my funky place for most of the day. It was that return to the early months with Eliana. That uber new mama time. Those months when everything is so unknown and disaster seems inevitable at any given moment. We are in such a calmer groove now. Sure it's messy and loud and chaotic, but I don't feel so vulnerable. I feel like I've got a pretty good sense of what's happening. Until I don't. And then I crumble.
So, I had a nightmare last night. It involved my ability to keep Soli safe, even when scary people lurk around corners, knock on the door, bring their wounds into our personal lives. I was so shaken that I couldn't really be present in my morning. It was a dream, babe. Can't you let it go? Poor Jeff. We are such different creatures sometimes.
But there I was, a few hours later, listening to Franti, grooving, finally, through my salutes. I'd let it go. I thought about my strong boy. My boy with the beat deep within. Just like his mama.