this garden is raising my progeny

This morning finds Sophie sleeping downstairs and Nels facedown across our bed as I do yoga in our large, open bedroom upstairs. As I relax into child’s pose I hear my son whisper “Mama”; he’s awake, his body assuming the identical posture – one that looks very natural indeed for a child. He’s half hidden by blankets, his hair over his face and his eyes and mouth smiling.

For a while he’s content to watch me. Eventually he slides out of bed and pads over just as I’m rolling into the plow position. I unfold my body to the mat to perform a bridge and he lies directly on top of me, and suddenly the warmth and delicious smell of his skin meld into my senses. I allow the heat from my body’s work to dissipate and relax into something that is barely exercise, a playful gentleness as I hold him and rock from pose to pose: reclined butterfly, a spinal twist. Like a little monkey he moves with me, his gentle strength matching mine. “Next is kiss pose,” he whispers. My face is buried in his neck, in his hair. The yoga session I’d been following guaranteed “clarity”; indeed I am feeling it.

My morning continues with both children in a gentle, open fashion. My daughter awakens, eats breakfast, and returns to her bedroom to clean it as I’d asked. We are packing up library books washing faces and hands, making ready for the day. Sitting on the couch with my son’s head in my lap, I’m brushing his teeth and I start talking to him about school next year, but he whispers to me instead Sophie broke a toy, the one she got from the pet store… I realize most of the time I want to talk to the children about something of import in their lives they are not ready or particularly interested in hearing it. I’m learning to wait. It occurs to me today that adults are like this too; how much more graceful it would be to know the right moment when it comes and not push otherwise. I must remember this.

In the afternoon after a lunch date (Ralph took Nels; I took Sophie) the kids and I return home. My children keep drifting back outside as I move about the kitchen; taking the ends off green beans, sauteing garlic and washing herbs, chopping apples and squeezing lemons, kneading bread and kneading and rising and forming and rising. I have given up on constant companionship from my ever-growing children, who never tire of things to do without aid of television or video games. No, my favorite afternoons are in the kitchen, cooking, fixing a new pot of coffee, as the kids come and go and, come look Mama, today’s distractions are a orb weaver, the very first lupine to bloom, new peonies.

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