Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meditation Milo and Mindful Momma, All Blissed Out

I just want you to know I haven't fallen into an abyss. Much.

I've actually written 342 seriously witty, clever, inspirational blog posts in the 6 weeks since I last published. I just didn't have time to write them down.

I'm reading this book called Momma Zen. I highly recommend it, especially for new parents. I found it while looking for some guidance on mindful mothering. Because I am anything but mindful these days. As evidenced by the fact that I went out to lunch with some of my new-mom friends, after having carefully prepared everything I might need to entertain, feed, and distract Milo during the grocery shopping trip I was planning for after lunch. I had the carrier, the spoon, the shopping cart cover, two toys...etc etc.

But after ordering up $30 worth of food and dessert at lunch, I came to the mortifying realization that I had forgotten one key ingredient for a successful shopping venture: my wallet. oops.

Thank goodness I was with other new moms, who offered compassion rather than judgment, and happily offered up not only money for my lunch, but ALSO for my grocery needs, since they know all too well the effort and timing that went into planning the grocery outing.

I am still basking in their generosity.

But back to the mindfulness bit. If I ever carried a pen with me, this new book would be all underlined up already. I swear it's going to change my life. But I don't have the energy to go into all that now...maybe next post. For now I just wanted to tell you that it's already working. Here are two little examples:

I went for a pedicure with a friend tonight...a super rare outing without my little sidekick. It was lovely. We chatted, ran a few necessary errands (so much easier and faster without the peanut!) and came out the other side with charming toes (silver for me, purple for her). What more could you ask for?

I got home and (after pumping) decided to "give up" on being productive and take a bath instead of wrapping presents or doing work or cleaning the house so my nanny can't see what a slob I am. (Who am I kidding here?)

And that's when I noticed I had messed up BOTH big toes of my lovely silver pedicure.

But get this: I didn't care one iota. My pedicure was imperfect, but in the same moment I realized that, I also realized that it had absolutely no bearing on the experience of getting the pedicure, which was still just as perfect as it had been an hour earlier.

Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but let me tell you there have been plenty of days where the idea of wasting $35 and coming out the other side with messy toes would have sent me over the edge of the cliff.

So I climbed into my hot bath with my new book and prayed that Milo wouldn't wake up for an hour, since it seems like he always needs me about ten minutes after I submerge myself in a bath.

It was my lucky night...Milo lasted one hour and two minutes. Ask and ye shall receive, eh?

I dried off and went in to my hungry baby, who immediately offered some kisses and hugs and nestled into my warm neck. I curled up in the rocking chair with him, paying attention to the angle of his body and neck, trying to make it as comfortable as possible for him. And, instead of losing myself in my iPhone/email/facebook...I smoothed my baby's head like my mom used to do when I was sick. I focused on his breathing. I tried to guess how long he had been nursing (4 minutes, though it felt like 20). In fact, I felt exactly the same way I had on my meditation retreat last summer...Is it okay to scratch that itch? This isn't super comfortable. But it is peaceful. Only now I'm sleepy. I wonder how long it's been. Is the bell gonna ring soon? Surely it's been an hour by now.

Yet another way Milo is my meditation bell.

But then he stopped nursing and settled into the crook of my arm, his face turned toward mine. I got to watch sleep tiptoe down his face. And the quick smiles of early sleep. Even a little giggle. I couldn't resist a little cuddle and even risked kissing his cheek. He stayed asleep. I couldn't resist texting Michael. I was so brimming with joy, I needed to share it. I wanted him to come in and experience it as well. I have this (probably unfounded) fear that Michael does not get these moments with Milo because he works full time and can't nurse Milo. I so want him to feel this unbridled joy and awe.

I never, ever thought I'd be the kind of mother that thinks my child is LITERALLY a miracle and wants to strap him in a baby carrier and take him EVERYWHERE with me, even to work. Except I don't really want to work. But it turns out, this is the kind of mother I am. And I am not the least bit bothered by this surprise.

I had a recent graduate come and visit on her break from college, and after spending a few minutes with Milo and I, she commented on the fact that mothering suited me...I can't remember her exact words. I wish I had written them down, because I found them incredibly uplifting and even validating. (Yes, I let myself feel validated by a 19-year-old. Go me.) She thought it was immediately clear that I was meant for this. That it came naturally.

And I was proud.

Anyway, eventually I decided that staying in the rocking chair with Milo all night was--though endlessly enthralling--ultimately unsustainable and unwise.

And, as is his recent custom, he woke up upon being placed in his crib and cried. Only this time, I wasn't impatient for him to sleep, so that I could sleep. I felt like I had all the time in the world to wait for him to soothe himself to sleep.

And indeed I did. Do.

But now that he IS asleep, I'd just be stupid to stay up typing on this little keyboard here. So I'm seizing the moment for sleep. Hopefully, I'll make time to write again tomorrow. But if I don't, I know you'll understand.


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