Thursday, February 10, 2011

Handstands and motherhood

I work on my yoga handstand a lot. Once I kicked right up into it--cold muscles, without fanfare and then I walked around for about 72 hours as if I was the leader of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Every other time, my handstand has been a production. Either I have to find the right wall space or I am shakti and shiva kicking myself in the ass trying to get up. And I get up, but I feel like a sweaty loser.  And I know, I know, feelings of self-loathing are so un-yoga. And I know, I know, it is the journey, the practice that makes the pose, not the pose itself. And I know, I know, I KNOW, ego has no place in yoga--it is the very thing that screws everything up.

Ego, it seems, has no place in my life as mother. The perfect births I imagined--yeah, that turned into  emergency c-sections and the rest has been an episode ever since.  I remember, once, when Lily was 13 months old and driving me crazy with teething, mess making and just being a toddler, thinking to myself, "Really, it was a good run, but I suck as a mother."  One month later, my motherhood journey took a drastic turn and well, I had to hold my world entire up, even when the world seemed upside down.

Trust me, learning that your child might die, is a real kick in the ass.

Then learning that your child will live, but knowing that other kids will die. Well, it makes you realize that you are nothing special. That, while you are a good mother and a good person, so is everyone else. That perfect mother ego needs to shakti kick itself to the curb.

And then there are the motherhood moments when you realize your youngest has been eating dog food all week and that she has been painting the walls when you weren't looking. And you realize that maybe you weren't looking a lot of the time. You make it to the end of the day, but you feel like a big sweaty, exhausted loser.

But then, your 2-year old looks at you and says, "I love you," and then the 4-year old runs to you and says, "Mommy, what do you want to do tomorrow?" And you realize, yeah, I am a bit sweaty and slightly disheveled, but, I am able to hold myself up, even when I am upside down--even if it took all day--and that's pretty good.

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