Parenting as Practice


Renee is a Meadowbrook parent and yoga teacher. In this article she writes about her experience of fusing these two identities in a time of crisis with surprising results. 

Friday afternoon I got a phone call from school. It’s always unnerving to see the school’s number pop-up on the phone. Then, the word nobody wants to hear: Lice. Nits were found in my daughter’s hair. By the time I arrived at school to pick her up, all three of my children were waiting for me. All infested. So much for long weekend plans.

If you’ve ever had to comb nits out of a child’s hair, you know where the term nit-picking comes from. It’s a tedious and tiresome task. An off-the-mat, long-hold, life experience requiring patience and focus. Thanks to yoga practice, I found myself asking (praying really): How can I see this differently? What if I showed up to this task completely present? Without expectation or judgment.

My son is 13. Changing – what seems like overnight – into a young man. He has little interest in conversation with his mom these days – or – even if he did – he’s hard pressed to get a word in with two boisterous sisters. Our nit-picking session started out in silence with an occasional one-word answer to my random questions. We were on our deck, the sun giving us the best light. Perhaps it was the unseasonable heat that caused things to shift, because just like in yoga, the warmer it got, the more we opened up. He started talking first about baseball – his favorite sport – and – although I’m not quite sure how we ended up where we did – before I knew it, we were having the discussion I had been putting off – about puberty and girls and how babies were made. The need for me to keep my eyes on his hair seemed to put us both at ease. He asked questions and we both spoke freely. I am grateful for the time with him.

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