We are coming to that time of year when we need to call on our inner selves to channel peacefulness and tranquility into our surroundings. I thought we should have a short course on Buddha Mom-ism.
Remember, I am merely a student of Buddhism myself (I read a few books and visited some websites). I will share my interpretations of Buddhism and how we can apply them to motherhood and fatherhood. I do not have all the answers. Hell, I don't have any answers!
Buddhism asks us to let go of our egos. That means we should not label things as good or bad...they just are. We cannot live our children's lives no matter if we know best. We must take care of the Earth and those creatures who inhabit it (animals and humans and plants and insects).
Let's look at some examples of how to properly channel our Buddha Mom.
Jeremy is in serious danger of failing three classes this semester. Classes he cannot afford to fail. Failing puts him in jeopardy of not graduating on time and for not competing in track in the spring.
I mute the television and calmly say, "Jeremy, do you know I am worried about you?"
He says, "Yes." Note: his voice is not particularly Buddha-filled. He is pretty much labeling me "retarded."
I take a deep breath, "Do you understand that failing these classes means you might not graduate on time?"
"Yeah." Again, no Buddha in his voice.
"I'm concerned that you are going to feel awful in the spring when you can't throw."
"Yeah." He has gone from labeling me as "retarded" to labeling me as barely capable of breathing on my own, much less being capable of forming a coherent thought. I can tell by the snarl that is filling his voice.
I could jump up and slap his lips off (that's Kelly's favorite saying at times and I am stealing it), but I don't. I take a cleansing breath, grounding myself, and say, "I hope you can pull yourself out."
No yelling. No screaming. No slapping. No hysterics on either of our parts.
Of course, we didn't solve the problem either. He is still failing three classes. I am no longer worrying about it because his success or failure isn't feeding my ego. Yeah, sure.
Aaron wants to go play outside, despite the fact that it's 40 degrees and drizzling. I have repeatedly told him no. Yet, he continues to ask.
Aaron: "Can I go outside and play?"
Buddha Mom: "No, it's nasty out."
Two minutes later, we repeat the cycle. And two minutes after that. And another two minutes...
Aaron: "Can I go stand in the yard to see if it's still drizzling?"
Me: "I can see out the window that it's still icky out."
Repeat the above four or five times.
Now my Buddha Mom persona is seriously cracking. I want to tell him to go play in the rain and leave me the hell alone. But I can't do that. I don't want him sick for the weekend. I don't want to give in. After all, I am the parent. I am the stronger one. I cannot cave because what will that show him.
But I am wavering. Seriously, wavering. I wish I had some chocolate. Or brownies. Maybe a cake.
Then the cycle ends.
Aaron: "Can I go watch TV in your room?"
Me: "God, yes. I mean, of course! Make yourself comfortable!"
I don't really like him watching TV in my bed because he messes up the bed. He moves the remotes. He steals my chocolate because he knows where my stash is. The joke's on him though, because I depleted my stash last night!
But he gave me an out and I didn't have to lose my inner peace. It's just slightly shattered at the moment.
As you can see, this whole Buddha Mom thing is still a journey. I don't believe I will achieve perfection, but I could have chosen someone else to emulate. I could have picked Joan Crawford!