Thursday, August 15, 2013

Change, Change and I am Okay

It seems like yesterday that I was at the berry farm with my 2-year-old son, pregnant, enjoying all the raspberry sweetness. My son back then so tentative and small and cheeky. Both of us fading quickly in the hot summer heat. My son overwhelmed by the stinky smell wafting over from the petting farm. We picked maybe 3 quarts. Maybe. Totaling $4 or so in raspberries. 

Berry farm summer 2010

Upon returning home, my husband declares, "that's it?" "Yep, 1.5 hrs of driving for $4 in raspberries." But it was an adventure. We sight saw along the way and we stopped for ice cream. Oh the days of having one little buddy around.

This summer, we found ourselves going back to the same country berry farm. Three years later, my daughter is now the same age as my son was, and wore the same shirt. (Oh how she loves that shirt.) We had a rough start to the picking again this time, "too stinky!" "too much walking!" "ahhh! My hat fell off!" but we persevered. Eventually my son locked into his task (berries on middle branches), which brought  my daughter in line to follow us picking her low-lying berries. Next thing we knew, we had two full baskets! (Racked up $16 worth) 

Berry farm 2013

I was a shock to go back and look at that picture of my little son at the berry farm. It seems like so long ago because so much has evolved since then. But, it also seems like he couldn't possibly have grown that much, in body and mind, in just three years! 

Looking back at the time when my son was two going on three and I was pregnant for nine very long months, I can't remember my son at that age as much as I'd like to. Pregnancy is hard, and even more hard to be fully present in the moment, open to what is.

It makes me even more conscious that I need to save mental "images" each and every day. Even just for a moment, stop, be fully present absorbing the moment with my kids. Maybe I am just watching them engrossed in their moment, or maybe I am engrossed in the moment with them. Store that moment in my memory.  

Being a stay-at-home mom (mostly) I always felt a little like, "this shit is never going to end!" But I suppose that usually was on the long boring, kids are misbehaving or being super needy sort-of days. It is so cliche to say that kids grow up so fast. But they do.

Times are changing. No longer is there one older kid and a baby. Now my children have reached the age where they truly enjoy playing with each other. This summer we had a blast enjoying lazy fun days inside and out. So it came as quite a shock to all three of us to have my oldest off to school full-time kindergarten last week. Our hearts were all a little swollen with sadness from missing our third team member. 

First day kindergarten with sister
First day pose

Many of the kids I teach yoga to on a weekly basis are moving on to different schools. This also makes my heart ache as I will miss seeing these kids so much. I love watching them grow and their spirits shine. 

Yes, my heart has been aching with all this change, but I keep reciting the chant/song I always sing to my wee students in class. Change, change and I am okay. Change, change and I am okay. Close my eyes and I am okay. (View the video for the tune)

It's okay to feel sad with change. It's okay to feel whatever you feel in times of loss or change. 

Sometimes its hard, but I always try to honor those feelings when my heart hurts because it means I care deeply. Feeling deeply is human blessing. It can bring profound gifts.

Feeling grounded through change is important. Breathing deep, saying a mantra or reciting positive affirmations, taking more quiet reflective time, being in nature, eating some good soul nourishing food, these things will all help get you through. 

Binging on a whole chocolate cake then finishing off the tub of ice cream. Um. Not so much. That will not help you stay centered through the change. It will just send you on a roller coaster.

Reaching out to friends, calling your mom, extra hugs and kisses from your loved ones. These are also super sweet. This is all how I got through. A big thanks to my friends, my mom and my family for all the love to get me through this week!

Same holds true for helping your kids through change. Lots of hugs and kisses. Quiet times. Time in nature. Allowing them to express themselves unconditionally. Take things slower. Make sure the day isn't stressed (or at least the morning if you are going to school).

What helps you get through? What helps you get your kids through?

Now, I better go off to spend some quality time with my daughter while her brother is at school, because next thing I know, three years from now, she will be dressing up for her first day of school! 


The Domestic Yogi

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