Before I even opened my eyes, I knew it was going to be one of those mornings. My alarm had gone off 30 minutes earlier and in an effort to keep the littlest one asleep (so I could get showered and dressed without a small human attached to any given limb), I reached for the chilled bottle of milk next to my bed, quickly silenced my phone and allowed him to snuggle into my shoulder to fall back to sleep. Or shall I say, this allowed us to fall back to sleep.
What seemed like only seconds later, I was drawn out of what felt like my deepest sleep by the tip-toeing of big kid feet walking across the creaky wooden floor of my room. Instead of walking up to the bed, he rerouted to the bathroom before I could warn him to remain as silent as possible. Half awake, an uncomfortable, wet and cold sensation against my right side began to register. It could only mean one thing. The bottle of cold milk made its way between us, leaving me in a puddle of milk soaked sheets. Good thing for mattress protectors however, even that did not prevent the slur of expletives from racing through my mind.
Just then the bathroom door slowly cracked open and Luca appeared half-dressed in the doorway. A voluntary divestment from warm pajamas is in no way typical of our morning routine, which quickly had my mind running through a second round of expletives and it was only 5:30 am. Two stripped, wet beds and three showers later, this was not the start of the day I had been hoping for.
And, the hits just kept on coming. A cranky, teething toddler moaning as he followed me from one room to the next, a dog drinking water out of the toilet bowl, a kindergartener about to lose his s%!t because of the annoying excess sock lining that pinches against his pinky toe inside of his sneaker.
Muscle tension. Heart racing. Scattered mind.
Where are those keys again? Get out of the toilet bowl! Please put your shoes on! Did I grab the lunches? Get your coat!
Deep breath. Deep breath.
We made it out of the house unscathed by what easily could have been the unleashing of my egoic reactions to this mornings mishaps. I managed to drive down our car lined street with my knee on the wheel, as I reached for the kids' breakfast I packed for the road. We arrived at the corner where the parade of cars preventing me from turning off of our street offered me a much needed pause. For one, despite my best attempts at multitasking, I could not make that turn with my knee and secondly, I needed an intervention. From the back seat, I was already informed that the yogurt smoothie had spilled and the peeled hard boiled egg had rolled off of Luca's lap and under my seat. Not having the time to search for a meditation, I swiped across the screen of my phone until I found Spotify and in desperation, I entered "Deepak". At the first sound of the soft chimes and his slow, deep voice, I felt the tension begin to melt away.
The backseat had grown quiet allowing my mind to gently drift until Luca curiously asked "Mom, who are we listening to?" Matter of factly, I responded, "This is Deepak Chopra." Silence from the backseat once again. For a moment the fantasy played out in my mind how Luca would begin his day centered and on task despite the reports his Kindergarten teacher shares with me on his daily behavior chart about his difficulty following directions and staying on task. Not today! Eager to learn, he will be attentive and ready to discuss with his classmates in circle time the wisdom that Deepak Chopra imparted on him this morning and maybe, with the wisdom of a little Buddha, he will even offer a glimpse of enlightenment to his six-year old friends. Wondering if Luca would be co-conspiring with my fantasy, I could not resist inquiring why he was so curious about who we were listening to. And with the wisdom of a six-year old he replied "Because, Nico just told me this was boring."
How easily we, as parents, slip into the myth of what life should be like and the fantasies we have created of who our children are or should become. If we are are awake enough to recognize, they will reveal to us that they are the ones who come to us untethered by expectations and radiant in the humbling truth of knowing exactly who they already are.