OK, it’s not exactly an empty nest, but Lucien is in school now and although there’s not really any more time in my working day than there was when he had three hours of preschool plus two hours with his babysitter back in Vancouver, somehow it feels completely different.
My feelings are all over the place. I miss him terribly; and yet I’m thrilled to have this time and freedom. It’s a joy to see Lucien thrive in his new school, and at the same time I can’t help but feel nostalgic about his baby and toddler and preschool years—all that unstructured time we spent together playing and dreaming. Now there are rushed early mornings and lunch bags to pack, field trips to chaperon, and parent association meetings to attend. Lucien goes off to kindergarten with his dad, lunch bag over his shoulder, and his pencil, ready to learn, explore, make friends. I have my freelance writing work to keep me busy during the fleeting hours between 8:30 and pick-up time. But there’s no denying this is a new stage for Lucien, and for me as his mother. Add to that a move, a new place to live, a new routine; I have to admit the changes have been thrilling but jarring, too, and I sometimes find myself feeling lost.
That’s why it felt so good, like coming home, to finally make my way back to yoga class after a few weeks where apartment hunting and school touring took precedence over everything else. When the teacher told us to go into Handstand there was no time for me to be wistful. When we were instructed to push up into Wheel Pose, there was no time to worry. And when we relaxed into Half Plow Pose with a chair, I felt at peace.
There’s so much change in life. And our yoga practice, of course, changes with us. But there’s something about the sameness of the feeling we get in class and in our home practice that is magically unchanging. It’s that same “precious nectar” sensation I felt in my very first class. Now I’m 40, the mother of a 5 year old, and I am so grateful to be able to return to that nectar, to our practice, again and again.
Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer (Skyhorse), out in paperback now. She’s spending the year in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and five-year-old son. “Like” her author page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Visit her at www.jessicabergergross.com.