Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I parent like I teach yoga - calmly, directly, boldy, with a lot of reasurrance and strength. I don't make a big deal about what is expected, but I expect a lot. I talk in an even tempered voice most all of the time and I make a lot of space for the individual. It's such a privilege to do both of these things. I wouldn't trade either of them.
I watch my children playing sports very differently. I yell; I'm loud; I am not consistent or calm. The upside is that I am almost always encouraging and am definitely still direct. It's been an interesting process to watch this side of myself emerge on the sidelines of Noah's baseball games and Ren's softball games. Most often I'm keeping track of the pitch count at Noah's games and keeping score at Ren's games. I always know what is going on, who is winning, who's pitching, who's doing what. I'm not even competitive (usually). I have made my life about yoga - a tangile, physical, intense practice that is not about winning, being good, or getting anywhere. This practice is what grounds me in this human body.
Something about my child being on the field changes everything. It's not even that I care if they win. I mean, don't get me wrong, I want them to win so I can see that grin on their face, but it doesn't really matter to me. Ren's team doesn't even tell the kids the score and they never know who's winning or losing.
No, it's not about the winning - it's about watching them in their bodies, really in their bodies, and finding their strength. It's about being their biggest fan out in the bleachers and wanting them to succeed for the sake of learning something and getting better at it. It's about the anticipation of what might happen next.I have yet to find the yoga of baseball and softball in my spectatorship. I keep telling myself before each game to keep my mouth shut, to turn off the vritti, to breathe deeply each time Noah's behind the plate catching, or Ren is playing first base. And then moments later, I find myself yelling:
"Be ready Yankees (Noah's team)."
"This one is yours Bumblebees (Ren's team)."
"Throw it in the glove."
"Smack the snot out of the ball."
"Move faster Noah."
"Keep your eye on the ball Ren."
And once again, I've been loud, and a little unruly, and I am rooting not only for my children, but for every child on their team. Ren has a game tomorrow, I will begin again . . .