My third kid started middle school this fall. So far it’s been tremendous. Say what you want about how rough middle school can be, he’s THRIVING. He’s excited about the big-kid status of riding his bike to school and owning a cell phone. He loves that he has card club after school and different classes with different teachers. Meeting new friends has been great and he comes home after school every day excited about what he learned that day. He thinks his homeroom teacher is the bomb.
And then he had an awful, terrible, no good day.
My husband called. The vice principal at the school contacted him when he couldn’t get a hold of me. There was an “incident” at the school that involved our middle-schooler which ended with a boy being suspended and our boy in the nurse’s office. We were told he was okay, was not to blame, and he chose to go back to class once he got checked over. Since our son hadn’t come home from school yet, I began contemplating just how upset he was going to be when he arrived. He is an awesome kid, but he’s also very sensitive. We have lots of feelings and they are not easy to deal with sometimes. I began to worry and pace a bit while I waited for him to come home. I worried most that he would no longer think school was awesome. And at that moment, I didn’t think school was awesome either.
An hour later he arrived home on his bike with a smile on his face and handed over a nurse’s slip. “Mom, did you get a phone call?” I answered yes, and asked him what happened. First, he recounted what happened in class. He also told me that he was really okay. I looked at him with skepticism. His calm demeanor was not one I was accustomed to. I asked him why he wasn’t more upset.
“So, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go back to class or go home. I said I wanted to stay because we had card club this afternoon. She suggested that I go to the bathroom to wash my face before I go back to class. I did have a few tears in my eyes a bit because I got hurt and when I looked in the mirror my face was red and blotchy and my eyes were puffy. I washed my face and then I told myself, ‘I need to calm down.’ So, I did a few sun salutations in the bathroom and I felt SO much better. I didn’t totally do the chaturanga parts though because, you know, it’s the bathroom floor.”
His entire day had been awful: he was running late when he got on his bike that morning, he and his friend crashed into each other on the way to school which gave him a scrape on his knee AND made them even later, he tried to do a random act of kindness (to turn things around) and then, out of nowhere he had an incident with a kid at school that he did not even know.
As an adult, if I had THAT bad of a day, I’d be sitting in a heap on the floor, definitely not smiling with a glass of wine in my hand. What happened?
It was the yoga.
I am now completely convinced that everyone could use a little yoga. He and his younger brother have been practicing for over a year now. What started out as an activity to get through the winter blahs, turned into something that has given them confidence, self-awareness and the tools to deal with life. Until this day, I did not realize just how much he has learned from his practice. If a sensitive and somewhat emotional kid can find calm and self-awareness in a very stressful day with yoga, then I think I need a little more of it myself.
So how did the rest of his day go AFTER he practiced a little yoga in the boys’ bathroom? He got lots of love and pats on the back from kids who care about him. Classmates asked him if he was okay. After school he “DOMINATED” his card club and went home with his day turned around and a smile back on his face.
Our kids teach us something new all of the time. My most challenging kid is the same one that I have learned from the most. I’m so proud of him.
If you’re interested in getting your child into yoga, there are a number of options in the Madison area:
- MSCR offers kids’ yoga classes
- Happy Bambino: www.happybambino.com
- Little Om Big Om: www.littleombigom.com
- Pulse Yoga: http://www.pulsekettlebellsandyoga.com/
- Kula Yoga and Wellness is opening a second location on Monroe Street this fall, and has the widest range of classes including aerial yoga for tweens. Check them out at: www.flywithkula.com