Lately my daughter has insisted she won’t go to sleep unless I lie in bed with her. I try to encourage her to sleep by herself; both for her independence and by the time I get her to bed, I’m itching for space and some “me” time.
She screams and cries “mamamamamamamom” so many times I cannot bear it. I resist and restlessly lie in her toddler bed with Pillow Pets, at least eight babies, stuffed animals and a pair of sunglasses. I think about my chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels and computer downstairs, but know she can sense my impatience.
Instead I settle into a modified savasana and begin to focus on my breath. It is a challenge to breathe in deep and feel my body rise, pause, exhale, pause and begin again. The more I focus on this pattern my mind must follow and my body melts into the princess pillow. I listen to my daughter sucking her thumb which I think is so cute, even though the dentist says she needs to stop, and I know she channels my calmness as her breathing becomes shallow.
Once I sense she is asleep, I take five more long deep breaths and slowly rise from my relaxation praying not to wake her and begin this process over as I cautiously tiptoe to the door.
It is then I realize I needed that end of the day meditation just as much as she needed me to be with her as she drifted into dreamland.