Just Breathe

by Shari on April 10, 2013

My son has trouble falling asleep.

Every night I watch him rolling around his top bunk, banging his feet against the wall, humming, talking to his stuffed animals, singing, annoying his sister by throwing items down at her in the bottom bunk.

Every night I try to calm him like a good calm Mom should, but it’s hard to concentrate on my calming techniques when I’m even more annoyed than the little girl who just had a dirty sock land on her face.

Tonight I decided I would teach him to breathe. Not the involuntary sort, which he seems to do quite well being that he’s still alive, but the deep, calming, purposeful breathing that I learned in some random yoga/Pilates/vocal training/therapy session.

I quickly learned that it’s not that easy to teach a kid to breathe in slowly for five counts and breathe out for ten counts. So I decided to demonstrate. I told him to count slowly to five while I breathed in.

“Onnnnnnnnne.”

“Twoooooooooooooooooooooo.”

“Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”

“Fourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

“Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii—”

And the little punk would not put the “v” sound on the “five”.

But I’m so stubborn that I kept breathing in, trying to make it to the end, my lungs expanded to blimp proportions, my eyes bugging out, determined to win, determined to BREATHE CALMLY IF IT KILLED ME.

Until I couldn’t do it anymore and we both collapsed in hysterical laughter. And the tears that ran down my face felt good, refreshing, different. Different than the others. Because I’ve cried more in this past week than I have in a long, long time.

Just breathe.

There are things happening, painful things, things that I can’t write about yet. They are life things, things that challenge me to my core. They make me feel weak. They make me know that I am weak, in so many ways.

Everyone is a breath, even those who seem secure. Psalm 39:5

And so I pray, and breathe, and try to make my breath my prayer and my prayer my breath and I try to imagine God breathing with me.

And the thought calms me enough to sleep.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom April 10, 2013 at 3:10 am

We do deep breathing with Miles because he tends to freak out at the slightest things. Understandable, given all he’s gone through in the past few years, but we’re trying to help him learn to calm himself. The breathing really works. Works for me too. I always joke to friends “Deep yoga breaths!”

I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a painful time, Shari. Sending you good thoughts, pug hugs and hopes that it subsides.

Deep yoga breaths my friend. Deep yoga breaths. xxx

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dusty earth mother April 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Thank you, L. Hugging my pug in your honor. xxoo

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Shannon April 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Sending loving thoughts and energy your way.

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dusty earth mother April 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Much appreciated and needed, Shannon.

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Valerie April 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Sending calming thoughts your direction. What can I do to help?

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dusty earth mother April 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Oh, I’ll let you know. :-)

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Kristin April 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Sorry you’re having a rough time. Hang in there, friend. If it helps, seeing your email in my inbox always brightens my day.

Hug your Pug. It might make you feel better. I have a cat. Hugging her never makes me feel better. It makes my eyes itch and she runs away.

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dusty earth mother April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

That did help, Kristin. So much so that I wish I could de-allergize your cat for you. xxoo

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Darrin April 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm

ah….that moment when your eyes glass over (maybe even roll back into your head), you seem to be floating in the air looking at the situation, you just say to yourself…Breath (maybe add an OHMMMMMM for good measures) and your child is just looking at you like what is wrong with Papa. Then I typically ask myself…”How did I every make it out of childhood if I was even close to acting like my own child” (as I was an aspiring Punk myself)……and yes the only thing that holds me to reality is voluntary and involuntary breathing.

Just know the Hopper’s will be praying and breathing for you guys!

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dusty earth mother April 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thanks, grown-up Punk. Love you.

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Nancy Franson April 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I know that breathing in and out kind of prayer. I know it well.

And I just want to say” thanks for making me laugh” and “I’m sorry.” Grace and peace to you, Earth Mother.

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dusty earth mother April 11, 2013 at 3:28 am

And I just want to say “thanks for your kindness”, Nancy.

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tracey April 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for that reminder on the simple healing that breathing can provide. I needed it this morning and did it with you as I read. I hope for peace for you in this time of change. Take care…

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Shari April 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I’m glad we could breathe/pray together, Tracey. xo

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Anna Lefler April 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Oh, no! I’m worried about you and also sad at the thought of you being under such a crush.

I’m sending you huge love and hugs as well as prayers. I hope everything is looking much brighter this morning…

XOXO
Anna

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Shari April 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Love you, dear friend.

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Annemarie April 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Sweet lady;
Many prayers & love – eph 3:17-21 for u. That was the first scripture you wrote down for me almost 18years ago.
Xoxo.

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Shari April 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

And my all-time favorite. Thanks for the bounceback, my love.

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Nancy Davis Kho April 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Shoot, Shari, what can we do? Besides breathe with you? I’m pronouncing the V extra loud for you, right now. Sending love,

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Shari April 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

“VVVVVVV”ing with you. xxoo

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Ann April 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Love to you. And prayers. And especially vvvees on fives.

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Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac April 12, 2013 at 4:08 am

Breath is my prayer, so I’m breathing with you. Hang in there, my friend.

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James Christian Jr April 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Hey Red!

Being a parent at times is rough! I am not one but I have memories of my little niece going through stuff and I had to be the parent for her(everyone worked longer hours then I did). I recall putting her to bed and she had many questions that I found hard to answer and I felt pain for her fears. So I put a smile on and assured her things are meant to be as they are for a GREAT Future!!!

My hope was there! If I can help her be the best she can, I can live through th heartache of a troubled child. At the end of the day, I can only pray and revive my faith so I don’t bring my worry into the next day. And it rare did!

Be well
- James Christian Jr

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