present moment

355B6050-7478-471F-8B9B-EEC9ED3632C2This is a picture of Julia walking to class.  Her case manager sent it to me yesterdy.  He wrote:  “Hey, I was following Julia and a peer in the hall, talking like best buds.  Not sure who her friend is, but I’m happy she has made strong connections with reg ed peers.”

It is a great picture.

When I looked at it, my first impulse, after a good hearted motherly smile, is to race to the story of Julia making a friend, going over someone’s house, talking too long on the phone, telling secrets to someone (not me), going to a sleepover, having a party.  And then, I stop.  

I practice staying in the present moment every day.  Sometimes I’m not bad at it on the cushion (I know, judgment) but I am pretty awful at it off that cushion (Ok, another judgement). I think there were many times in Cheshire’s growing life that I was, without any practice at all, in the present moment.  I did not listen to her playing at a violin recital and compose the story of her musical career, when I saw her in a formal, I did not imagine a wedding.  However, with Julia, I am always in extended story mode.  Every slight gain—every milestone which is a milestone only for a kid without social skills, every homework assignment completed relatively independently, every request that is somewhat age appropriate—I imagine to be a step on a ladder, a developmental highlight which will lead somewhere better and greater.  More, better, further along the road to a typical life.

It is exhausting and sad.  It usually ends up as good ol’dukkha, Buddhist suffering.  The second arrow, worry about her future.

Yesterday, I stopped the story and just looked at the picture.  To walk along a high school hall with another student, talking.  This, just this, is something I’ve hoped for and wanted for my girl.  And it happened.


One thought on “present moment

  1. We are MOTHERS. If there is nothing to worry about, we make something up. It is hard to relax and let things just be and yes, I write/wrote those “future” stories too. We are “normal.”

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