In a little over 12 hours, my 12 year old will be boarding a flight for her first major trip away from home. It’s a Girl Guide adventure, off to Scotland for three weeks. She’s pretty excited. By nature, she’s a kid who takes every thing to heart and she pretty much defines a walking anxiety attack. She’s always been the Queen of the What-if scenarios, all of which have grim and horrible endings.
Yoga is not a mother-daughter bonding activity in our house. She took a couple of terms of the Ashtanga viniyasa last year but felt uncomfortable because it was an all adult crowd. She enjoys yoga but understandably, she wants it to be with her peer group. One of my colleagues in my yoga teacher’s training is gearing up to teach teenagers this fall and I’ll be the first person signing her up for the classes. I think yoga is very useful for young women and with the wisdom of retrospect, I wish I had established a practice as a very young woman. I’m sure my life would have taken a much different trajectory.
That said, I don’t nag about yoga. I’m not her teacher and it’s not appropriate that I take that role in her life. I’m her mother. There’s enough teaching wrapped into that role without adding to the job description. Well, most of the time anyway. There was one occasion some three weeks ago when in the midst of getting ready for this trip and some minor setback arrived, and she was in the midst of the complete emotional meltdown as can only be expressed by a teenage girl. After 30 minutes of it, the Momma snapped and declared “That’s it! Now we’re going to do it my way. Every day between now and when you leave, you’re getting your feet on the mat because otherwise, I’m going to kill you.” Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe Momma needs to breath a bit too.
But just when I think the whole Momma yoga spiel is sailing right over her head, the proverbial in one ear and out the other, she gives me hope that some of it is sinking in. In the past 24 hours, whenever I’ve asked her how she’s doing, the answer is inevitably coming back as “I’m breathing”. That’s right, kiddo, when things get overwhelming, feet on the floor, spine straight, chin tucked in, breathe. Breathe in; breathe out. We can talk about it later.
This trip is also a lesson for Momma — aparigraha. As much as I want to cling her to me where I can keep her safe, it is destiny and the way of the Universe that she is growing up and away from me. It doesn’t seem like she can possibly be old enough, mature enough to fly to Europe for three weeks, but here it is and she’s going. It’s a lesson for Momma in letting go and accepting that baby’s starting to find her own path instead of walking behind me like a good little duckling.
Now she’s off on the first flight of testing her wings. Just remember to breathe, kid, and most of it will work out in the end.
Thanks for reading and Namaste,