Teach your children well Written by Kristin Moshonas
I dropped my youngest baby off at school today (he is 11). Day 1 in a new school, mask on, social restrictions in place.
This would be the first time in school without his brother. He wanted to take the bus, find his groove, his independence, and a renewed sense of normal. I admire his spirit. Until recently a city kid, a school bus is novel. This country school set in a quiet tree-lined valley is a 180-degree switch from what otherwise would have been a standard and familiar NYC September, but nothing is really ordinary about this time in which we are living. A time when we must sometimes make restricting judgment calls for the safety of our families, while at the same time reassuring our kids and ourselves that everything will be alright, that our ‘normal’ will surely return. A mix of anticipation and reservation, he would not cooperate with my parental need to take his picture. He would not remove the mask. He did allow me to kiss him goodbye -- in the car -- and walked through the door. My mother’s heart longed to see him walk out with a big smile and a new friend when I picked him up. The mask covered his mouth, but I could tell there were neither. He wanted to go home. His day had been distant by design, and lonely. I felt his distress disguised as disinterest. I cried on the inside but offered ice cream and a hug while moving on to the topic of resilience. We can foster these qualities in our children from a very early age. If nothing, this time offers many teaching moments with fewer distractions.
I know he’ll survive because I know the magic that is within him, the fires that have been fed, and the foundation from which he has blossomed. I know that I, too, will thrive again.
My lesson through all of this is consistent: support them with love, support yourself with love, let go when needed, attach less, allow all to feel and be as they must on their own particular journey. It is because I practice this that I believe most of us will be OK.
He was quiet when I picked him up, did not want to spend time with the few friends that we do have here. My instinct is to smile, be friendly, make it better. He needs his space to adjust to a school that is foreign -- together, yet isolated, with a mask on. It is hard.
We will reset as often as needed. We will get through these uncertain, even, threatening times. Our circles are smaller, but the love felt more profoundly. If we pay attention, we will keep learning about ourselves.
I am both a teacher and student of meditation, a parent, a partner, a yoga therapist, a daughter, a sister, a seeker, a friend. It is within the scope of my place on any of these fronts to help assuage fear, encourage breath, and point to nature for space and alternative open-hearted perspectives; to continually challenge and remind myself of the tenets I teach.
Do I cry sometimes? Yes.
Do I argue with my partner? Of course
Do I lose patience with my children? Guilty
Am I tired of cleaning? Beyond
Is a range of emotion human and healthy? Absolutely
All of this is human. I try to be kind and forgiving with myself and others. I am self-reflective; apologize often. I see all as living and learning moments. This is what I teach my children. Stability comes from within. The more I cultivate it, the greater the likelihood is that I can effectively pass it along and have a positive impact on my circles.
My practice keeps me sane, grounded, open to all possibility, and confident that what is good, right and free for most will prevail. I intuitively know that it is one of my roles in this life to share it, and that my children will indeed be OK.
Return to breath.
Return to love.
Seek source within yourself.
Moment by moment.
All will be OK.
Kristin Is a BeStill teacher and NYC Program Director for Kula for Karma, be.still’s corporate social impact partner.
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