Monday Lily asked me, "why am I shaky when I wake up? My friends aren't shaky."

It is a question I was completely unprepared to answer.

Lily is shaky when she wakes up because she had brain surgery. She is shaky because the brain surgeon had to go through her cerebellum to remove a 3 cm tumor. The result was a healthy, breathing Lily with ataxia, a condition that affects her balance and often, makes her entire body tremble after a deep rest. But I have no idea why she had to have a brain tumor. It is a question I cannot answer.

When Lily was 2, I taught her to wake up her muscles every morning with yoga and massage. We made it fun and routine and she never noticed that others were not shaky. But now she is nearly 5 and her body, which once mine in so many ways, is becoming hers. And Lily, my smart intuitive girl, is starting to notice things.

I never really answered her question. To say something generic like, "everyone is different," is insulting. To say the whole truth, well, I cant even handle it and I really can't answer why Lily had a brain tumor. There is no answer.

So, for now, I told Lily that we are all shaky sometimes. For Lily, it is after a long rest, her body needs to warm up. For some, it is after heavy lifting. For others, it is before a speech. For me, it is those moments when my little girl asks those big questions, those questions I can't answer.

It is that shakiness, the shakiness we all experience, that led me to yoga in the first place. While we shake and tremble and loose our balance, we can find it again--because it is ours. It is Lily's. And that is one thing the brain tumor can't take away.

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