Jumping Beans

Your FEELINGS are THE SIGN you’ve been looking for. 

This quote took me off guard today. It is subject to very broad interpretation making the enormity of it almost scary.  But more alarming were my feelings - which at the time were of worry and concern for my son Oakley.  

He is 11. Charming, intelligent, thoughtful and emotionally strong. And at the same time, he’s battling a couple of real learning disabilities including dysgraphia, dyslexia, and ADD. This struggle reared itself around 3rd and 4th grade and we were fortunate to quickly find him a school that caters exclusively to this learning style. He is in his 2nd year, has a handful of good pals, enjoys the teachers, and all-in-all is happy.  But recently, due to some struggles in math, he ran full tilt into a wall of self-doubt. He woke up one day having convinced himself that he’s not “smart” like his peers. He went so far as to internalize it as reason to give up. “Why bother studying, it’s not worth it…” Of course my own fear of the situation went to thinking that this isolated incident could seep into and erode his overall self-confidence.  Incredible how adept our minds are at creating horrible outcomes.  

The “solver” in me just wanted to have it all figured out – where did his learning disability come from, how do I roll with it, how much compassion and how much grit do I bring to it, etc.  And how do I embrace the crisis homework moments – and chalk them up as my means to understanding the inner workings of a youngster who is often paralyzed by it all. 

The “believer” in me said, “Oh, it’ll all be fine, it’s just a life phase, and everything will turn out…” Not that I’m ignoring the severity, but rather trying not to fret, not letting my mind fall into a negative spiral.  I am fortunate that Oakley is so verbally capable of communicating what’s going on for him and for that I’m at a slight advantage. 

The “meditator” in me feels, well… writing about it all.  Ironically – here I am having reached my mid-years, easing into my own phase of chasing down enlightenment and working tirelessly on finding my own unmapped level of calm.  I guess you could say I’ve reached a different mellow. But how is this possible as I look at my son who has the evolving disposition of a Mexican jumping bean and can’t sit still – I thought we shared the same gene pool?   

Guess there’s no time better than the present than to teach your child how to meditate. 

Cheers, Chris