March 26, 2009 – Today, I was hurrying Michael (my 3 year old) into his car seat knowing both he and his brother William (18 months old), were on the cusp of a “I’m-hungry-please-feed-me-now-and-I’m-sleepy-too-melt-down.” I knew I didn’t have long to get them home, fed, and down to naptime before one or both of them imploded.
I put them in the car, buckled in William, told Michael to do the same, and then I got in the front seat, buckled in, started the car, arranged all the items and bags, when Michael asked for “hep”. I got out and groaned – “jeez, Michael, let’s go…”. “Focus”, and I pointed to my eyes, “focus Michael!”
Just then he looked up at me, the reflection in his eyes so innocent and with such a clarity that struck my soul and put everything around me in slow motion….then, without any strife or reaction to my actions, he tried to put his little fingers into a sign. He looked at them for a second, and knitted his toddler brow as if to say – “please help me express myself.” Once he got his fingers to cooperate he looked into my brown eyes with his big, clear, innocent, brown eyes and signed, “I love you.”
The whole word melted like snow – and all my superficial concerns with it. I just stared at my son’s tiny hand, signing “I love you”, and I was amazed and humbled. How could a three year old, my son, have such wisdom and a peace that passes all understanding – in the midst of a stressful moment for him, with his limited ability to speak and express himself; especially when all he knows in this world, his own mother, was being impatient and short with him?
Again he signed “ I love you,” and then the entire world fell silent as I formed the same sign with my hand and carefully matched my fingers up to his. He loves when I do that – and then he smiled his huge, “Michael smile.” He gave me a kiss and a hug and said in his labored vocabulary learned from months of speech therapy, “yes, kisses and hugs for mommy.” I received 7 kisses.
As I got back into the front seat and backed out of the parking lot to take them home for their lunch and nap, I realized who my greatest yoga guru was…
Although the entire “lesson” transpired in just a minute or two his loving action took no longer than my rough, impatient action. Mere minutes, we should remind ourselves, make all the difference in the world. Of all the lessons in the world we can learn, learning how to love unconditionally may just be the most important.
Today I learned a lesson in unconditional love, one of remaining undeterred by external circumstances; to love even when it is difficult.
Yes, there are a few Truths in life, and one of them Mother Teresa wrote of, “If you want world peace, go home and love your family.” If I am at all successful in a meaningful, eternal way (not worldly) in my dharma, it is because of my greatest guru: my children.