I believe it is simply overwhelming at times to be a little child, away from the truest comfort of home. And I believe it is simply overwhelming at times to be a parent, when you let worry, embarrassment or frustration crowd out space for deep, nourishing, unconditional love.
Our week’s vacation had lots of joyful moments full of sand castles and boogie boards and giggling and ice cream cones. It also had moments of stress and anger and tears. Through it all, I held my intention to be mindful and became totally aware of some important things:
- Some days my very first sensation is tension. If I’m awakened earlier than I’d prefer or if I’m worried that the first child up will wake her sister, I feel tension in my body, my breath is shallow and my mind is racing.
- I am actually afraid of the powerful emotions of anger and frustration. When I witness these emotions in my children, I feel worried, my mind scrambling for the “right” thing to do. When I feel these emotions arise in myself, I stifle them and grit my teeth until I can’t bear it any longer.
- When a wave of powerful emotions has passed in my family, I remain held in the experience. My mind replays interactions, judges how things were handled, worries about the reasons or the implications. (Children, however, have this amazing ability to let go and move on).
- Children cannot settle into a peaceful rhythm, when the adults around them are unsettled or not at peace in their own minds. Children do perceive anxiety, even when it is not expressed outwardly.