At our nightly bedtime check-in of the “Best and Worst of the Day,” I was not surprised that a couple of the kids cited the best part of their day as me playing on the Wii. For many years now, some of their greatest joy has been me putting my best effort forth (with occasional falls into hot lava) on the obstacle course, dodging soccer balls (and occasional stuffed panda bears made to look like soccer balls,) working the half pipe, as I hone my skateboard skills, or perfecting my very imperfect golf swing, (as I did for the very first time tonight.) Tonight, when Giacomo told me it was his best, I thanked him for encouraging me to get on that Wii Balance Board.
“You needed it, Mom.”
Now, for a split second, I was transformed back to a moment when he was about 4 and I was exercising to some workout DVD, post-one of his siblings being a baby, and he encouraged me to do the third and most intense level, as he patted my very soft belly, reminding me, “You want to get rid of this, don’t you mom?”
I gave him a pass, at that young age, but tonight, I was almost offended.
But then I agreed with him. Because he was right. I DID need it.
“Yeah, I definitely did need it, buddy. I didn’t get to go to yoga this morning.” (I have historically, for the last 6 years, gone to my very favorite yoga class at 5:45 on Wednesday mornings.)
“Oh, yeah. I guess you were here this morning when I woke up.”
“Yeah, buddy, I got up to go, but you had a lot of alarms going off on your machines, so I decided to stay home, just in case.”
“Oh. Mom, it’s probably a good thing you didn’t go to yoga then.”
“Yeah, buddy, it’s better that I stayed home this morning, just in case. So, thanks again for getting me to play on the Wii. I definitely needed that.”
He doesn’t know that I have been awake since long before 5:00 this morning. He doesn’t know that I lay awake this morning in bed, fearing of the absolute worst. He doesn’t know that I am terrified of him not surviving the jaw surgery coming his way in a few weeks, a surgery that is supposed to improve his quality of life, not take it away. He doesn’t know that I have spent far more time today with tearful eyes than with dry ones. He doesn’t know of any of my struggles. He doesn’t know any of this, nor will he ever.
Instead, he knows that, after he and his siblings helped me wash the dishes and pack their lunches, I took the time to hop on the Wii Balance Board. He knows that they all laughed uncontrollably at my terrible golf skills and were wowed by my meditative yoga lotus abilities to sit very still and focused when needed. He knows that I needed time with my favorite humans. He knows that I needed to feel my heart beat. He knows that I needed to feel energy moving through my body. He knows that I needed that.