This post is from my previous, now defunct blog.
Original post date: Sunday, May 9, 2010
In most of the religious traditions that resonate with me, deep and meaningful spiritual practice depends on “being present”: living in the moment, realizing that THIS moment is really all we have. This practice of mine used to be so much harder than it is now. My son has helped me to remain present more often than a daily sitting practice ever used to.
When we are together, I am constantly checking in with him emotionally and energetically to suss where he is and what he needs in that moment. And while I may have “plans” for my day or evening, if my son “derails” them, I am not as upset as I have been in the past when someone else has derailed my schedule. Being present in the moment is my main priority and goal for the day, everything else takes a back seat. It has meant opting out of some fun things, taking an incomplete this semester (in which I am struggling to catch up as we speak), and looking a lot more flakey than I ever used to (and man, do I hate flakes!). And you know what? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that my son is well loved, attended to and learned about each and every day.
My attentiveness has been rewarded. As his personality is unfolding, I am learning more and more about this tiny human and what he will be like.
My son is shy. He prefers small intimate gatherings to large boisterous ones. He is curious, but only so not when overwhelmed by stimuli. He likes meeting new people, but usually one at a time and he likes to have mama or daddy nearby when it happens. He likes staying at home and exploring things slowly.
He is energetically quite sensitive, and picks up all sorts of things from people. When confronted with people with crazy, tweaky, or angry energy, he moves inward. His eyes unfocus and he retreats. He uses this coping skill in large crowds as well. He has learned to go internal when facing uncomfortable people or scenarios- where did he learn that? I always thought these tendencies (as well as being an extrovert or introvert) were socialized, learned behaviors. But these appear to be “how he is”, as if he were born that way.
These things make him appear rather boring to the large crowds that have met him at Beltaine, Pagan Pride, and PantheaCon. But nothing could be further from the truth. While he is still developing who he will be, I can assure everyone he is fascinating, quite smart, and engaging. You just have to meet him on his terms!