Tuesday, August 20, 2013
My Summer Gift
My kids and I went back to the USA for summer vacation. Initially we were quite busy and I was off to Kripalu for ten days and the kids visited my parents in Tennessee during that time. I joined them in Tennessee for a few days and then we went home to Connecticut.
We went home not just to our town, but to our house which we have been able to keep despite our move to China. Our furniture and everything was all there, it was almost like we had never left, and summer was shining through the windows and singing in the woods.
When I had considered these weeks we would have in Connecticut I envisioned them busy with social outings and activities; the kids off on meet ups with friends and me doing much the same. Some of that did happen, but not as much as I had imagined. Their friends, and mine, were busy in camps or at work, or away on vacations. That had always been our summer too, kids in camp, me teaching yoga, and time away.
The weather was brutally hot for those weeks in Connecticut and no air conditioning in the house. I had my three kids with me all day every day. This was something I had not had in years, well ever in reality. Me, by myself (Stephen was still in China working), with the kids, and no schedule or structure of any kind.
The first couple days I felt a bit agitated and quite a bit anxious. My mind was filled with logistical question marks, some valid and some ridiculous.
"What will we do all day?" " How will we keep cool?" " How will I cope with the kids fighting if it is all day?" "How will I keep up with household stuff? " Where is my ME time going to come in?" "Will I break down and just fail?"
These and many more worries and considerations stuck into my mind, but then there was a shift. As I have found so many times the key to transformation is to stay. Stay the course, moment by moment and breathe. Breathe, relax, feel, watch, allow; the wave system of my Kripalu yoga tradition, so simple and so powerful with applications that reach far beyond my yoga mat and right into the nitty gritty of my life.
Stay, feel it, breathe. I did this and after a day or two something marvelous happened. I rediscovered my children. My love and adoration for them grew new and beautiful blossoms. I realized that THESE are my favorite people. Who else would I want to spend weeks of spacious, free for all, "what do we do next?", time with?
It was still a bumpy ride with crabby moments, fighting episodes, grumbles and complaints on all our parts, but it was splendid and rich. I feel like I got to know my kids even better and more importantly they got to know me, the total me.
After a few weeks Stephen came back from China, and we traveled to Milwaukee and had time with even more family and it was brilliant, especially reuniting with our older adopted daughter Meg. We had not seen her in years and she is now 23, in a stable relationship and expecting a son. So I guess that makes me grandma to be, blessings abound, miracles do happen. We are family and sometimes we are far away geographically, emotionally or needing some time to grow and learn. It is not neat and tidy, but it is beautiful. We see each other, and with those closest to us, we are our best, and sometimes our worst selves.
That is bliss, being perfectly ourselves in the best company. That company that might call us out on our ugly moments, or pitfalls, with whom we sometimes come into the deepest conflict and suffer the greatest heartaches, but always knowing that in the end they will love and adore us just the same, and we will love them right back.
The gift of my summer was that I stayed. I weathered the worries and moments of conflict, and in that I found love truly does conquer all.