I was so very proud of myself. I had solved the summer puzzle of camps, multiple sitters, my work schedule, details for a family reunion with my parents and five brothers and sisters and their families, a camping trip, my husband's availability for drop off and pick up when the boys were at two different camps (skateboarding and fencing) in two different cities at the same time. It was a well thought out, carefully crafted, and detailed plan.
And then, three days before the last day of school, my younger son broke both bones in his lower leg at a trampoline party place. We were lucky. It wasn't his neck, head or spine. An off-duty Foster City firefighter/angel held my son's leg in traction and kept him calm until the paramedics arrived. IV morphine is a miracle. We had an incredible nurse in the emergency room and the emergency department was remarkably quiet that day while we waited for surgery. The broken bones are above my son’s growth plate. The orthopedic surgeon who reset my son’s bones said that this kind of break in an adult would require plates, pins, and physical therapy. But in kids, bones heal especially fast. In this case, the prognosis was six or so weeks in a full leg cast.
Our summer is a fast five weeks with the boys’ year round school schedule.
Summer had changed. I had no control, no plan, no idea how the next month was going to look and I desperately wanted to be okay with that. I'm a planner. I am a really good planner. I make lists. I keep track of details. I like knowing what to expect with my schedule - or at least having a general idea. And when things change - which invariably they do, especially with kids - I must admit that I have to sweet talk myself into going with the flow.
After my first son was born 11 years ago, I applied my tried-and-true methods for managing an out-of-control situation. My Before Children (BC) method looked something like this: Step 1. Create a plan. Step 2. Work hard. Step 3. Work harder. Step 4. Enjoy success (or find a new project if Steps One through Three didn’t work). But BC coping tools don’t work with After Children problems like sleep, breastfeeding, or balancing home and work life. I needed to build a new mindset, which took some time, coaching, workshops and classes.
But recently, when my son's broken leg and my broken summer plans threw me for a loop, I found myself thrust back into the old habit of using my BC toolkit. And once again, no surprise, it was like using a sieve to make jello. So I took a a few deep breaths, relaxed, and remembered what does work.
When my mind longs for predictability, consistency, and control, I guide myself into love and acceptance with a simple grounding meditation. I use this meditation tool every day - before I get out of bed in the morning, before sessions with life coaching and massage clients, and when I forget that not being in control is not the same as being out of control. I practice my grounding meditation when I want to remember that, no matter what, I’ll be okay. And you will, too. Watch and listen to my two and one-half minute meditation video and sweet talk yourself into relaxing and trusting that all is well.
P.S. My son’s cast was removed! He’s on crutches as he goes through the final bit of healing and as he builds his flexibility and strength. Swimming pool here we come!