I woke up earlier than usual this morning. I thought I heard one of the kids’ doors open and close a couple of times. No one came in so I assumed it was Isabelle going back and forth to the bathroom. I was wrong.* After the third time, a teary-eyed boy plodded into my room and stood beside my bed.
“Mommy, I had a bad dream.”
“That’s unusual for you, buddy. Do you want to come in and snuggle?”
“Hold on a minute, I’ve gotta go and get Patchy.”
Ari ran down the hall, retrieved his stuffed dog, and was climbing into the center of the bed in a flash.
“Do you remember what your bad dream was about?” I asked him once he was snuggled under the covers.
“Um, uh, uh…”
“It’s okay if you don’t remember,” I replied.
“I don’t remember,” he said forlornly.
“That’s okay. Do you need help calming down?” I asked.
“Every morning, before I start my day, I always do a meditation exercise. I use an app on my phone. There’s a section for kids. I’ve tried some of these with your sister before. Why don’t we try do a short one together.”
“Okay,” he sniffled.
I selected “Calm,” which had the same familiar voice, Andy Puddicombe, who leads my daily meditation sessions. I was unsure if Ari would last the full five minutes, but he surprised me by following Andy’s instructions from the get-go. Andy told us to breathe in through our nose and exhale through our mouth and Ari and I followed his lead.
Later in the calming meditation, Andy asked us to wiggle different body parts and then let them rest. Ari did exactly as he was asked. I was impressed.
When the meditation as over, I asked Ari, “Do you feel calmer?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Calm enough to head back to your room?”
“No, I wanna stay with you,” he replied.
“Well, I’m going to do my meditation now. So if you stay, you have to be silent so I can focus on my meditation.
Ari was quiet and still for two minutes. Eventually, he left the room in search of adventure. Where was his next adventure? His \ big sister’s room.
And, thus, our day began.
*= You know how I know I was wrong? Ari went into Isabelle’s room to wake her up two minutes into my meditation. She was fast asleep. (Of course, he woke her.)