Somewhere along the way on this yogic path we learn that the challenges we face are opportunities for growth. We know that each difficult person we meet has crossed our path to teach us valuable lessons. The dilemma I'm facing this week is how do I explain these concepts to my 7 year old son. Can I teach these lessons or does he have to learn them in his own time, in his own way?
With his back-pack filled with brand new copybooks and freshly sharpened number 2 pencils I sent my baby off to the first day of second grade. He did remarkably well last year so I didn't expect any trouble this year. He no sooner steps foot off the bus the first day and he tells me he's not going back. He hates 2nd grade. His teacher is mean and she scares him. Okay, I have to admit that my first reaction was that he just needs to adjust after spending the whole summer home with his father.
He's gone to nurse's office 2 out of the 5 days he's been in school. Each day he's gotten more and more upset. The "mother bear" reflex kicks in with a vengeance and I want him to be moved out of that classroom immediately. I'm not interested in hearing about the school policy and the proper protocol. I want my baby out of there now! (for a moment I forget I'm a yogini following the yogic path and I'm just a mom protecting her son). 3:00pm can not come fast enough. I just wanted to go home and hug my baby. The hours were torture knowing that he is sitting in school scared and upset and there isn't anything I can do about it.
I haven't even met the teacher yet and she's already made it to my list of people I want to smack.
** yogic note: ahimsa (non-harming) applies to words, deeds, and thoughts ** I'm racking up more karmic debt today but I can't help myself.
Wow! I think I need to take a moment and consider what lesson is being presented to me. Where do I begin? Maybe with the fact that I can't always react from emotion or maybe that sometimes I need to give others the benefit of the doubt (maybe Mrs. 2nd grade teacher is a perfectly nice lady) How about let go of the need to control things when there are others who are better equipped (Maybe Mrs. Principal knows the best way to handle this situation)? Maybe trust my instinct? (Maybe he does just need to adjust to being away from us)
Of course, I don't want to see my baby upset. I wish I could put him in my heart and keep him safe forever but the reality is that I can't do that. He will need to learn to deal with scary people. Just like the rest of us, he will need to figure out how to look past the meanness of people to see God in everyone. In the book, Autobiography of a yogi, Yogananda tells a story about a little deer that he prayed to God to save his life. God granted Yogananda's wish then in a dream the little deer comes to him and explains that by keeping him alive Yogananda is holding the deer back from evolving.
Hum.... Another parenting lesson? If I insist that Jake be moved out of that classroom am I holding him back from evolving as a student? How will he learn to deal with challenges at school if I step in and remove the opportunity to grow? Regardless of whether he's just missing us or if the teacher really is mean, he must learn to adjust. That's something I can do. Help him to adjust. I will need to give him some tools to help him adjust.
OMG! I am turning into an old Italian woman...... the thought just came to me..... I'll pin a miraculous metal on his undershirt so that the Blessed Mother will be next to heart to comfort him. Old lady or not, it certainly won't hurt. (Unless the pin comes undone - LOL).
Even though I started this blog thinking that the lesson in this was a lesson for Jake, I'm ending this blog knowing that ultimately, it was another lesson for me. Maybe I'll pin the miraculous metal on my bra and keep the Blessed Mother close to my heart too.