After lights were out for about half an hour, Gregory came down to the the family room to tell us he was having challenges going to sleep – he was relaxed but just not sleepy. Walter offered to do the relaxing meditation technique with him. He said yes and they headed upstairs.
When he came down about 15 minutes later Walter said they got to his chest before Gregory was asleep soundly. I asked Walter what he does exactly. He has explained it to me before but mostly in generalities. I asked for details.
Walter first asks him to get comfortable. Positioning his legs and arms and body in a way that once he goes to sleep he won’t move – so a relaxing pose in anticipation of going to sleep in that position. This maybe takes 1-2 minutes. Walter says “He’s good at this”.
He then takes the blanket and pulls it up and they start breathing. Deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth. He does about 5 to 10 of these – maybe 30 seconds. Walter repeats “He’s good at this.”
He then starts at his toes…”they are feeling tingly and heavy, yet they are floating, totally relaxed.” Without direction to Gregory Walter pauses before the next body part – quietly taking a deep breath in through his nose and then out through is mouth. Gregory breathes along with Walter. They do the ankles, the calves, the knees, working their way up the body with Walter pausing between each body part to breathe quietly but deeply. He explains that as long as Gregory is awake he breathes along. However, once he is asleep he will not follow with the deep breathe. Walter completes 1 or 2 more body parts just to be sure and then they are done.
Walter said he enjoys this time with him. It’s their “thing”. I totally get it. Gregory and I have our “thing” as well. It has changed as he has grown up. One favourite “thing” was singing the Crazy Little Caterpillar book together. He would choose it for me to “read/sing” as his bedtime book whenever he felt I needed it – saying it was my favourite. Ah, what he may not have realized…he is our favourite.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination.” One of the promises Walter and I made when we talked about having children was that this would still be our ride and he or she would be along it. I had no idea then that the ride would become such a sweet one with our little man along with us. I observe the joy parenting has given me – us. A billion special moments one right after another.