Expand the Harmonious

…or, Life Lessons from my 12 Year-Old

…or, Patience, Thy Name is Christie….NOT!

I am not a patient person. I know this about myself. Lately, I have been less patient than I care to admit. My husband is away every week; my work obligations are soaring; my Little Miss’ year-end school commitments and activities are peaking in a flurry of assignments, dress rehearsals, recitals and concerts; and a beloved family pet passed on after a sad week peppered with multiple trips to the vet. I am frazzled. Case in point: Me, at the end of last week, attempting to fulfill the school-day-mom routine I preform Monday through Friday, September through June, in order to get my Little Miss out the door on time.

It went like this:

Me: Please hurry.

LM: I’m hurrying.

5 minutes later…

Me: Are you ready? Are you hurrying?

LM: Yes Mom, I said I’m hurrying.

2 minutes later…

Me: Is your bed made? Have you finished breakfast? Where are your shoes? Are you watching the time? We only have 5 minutes!

LM: (With a heavy sigh for dramatic effect) No Mom. Not yet. On my feet. Yes. I know!

Me: (Not listening) You know you need to make your bed and we have to leave and you’re not hurrying!


Once out the door, I took full advantage of the 20 minute walk to school to lecture impart my wisdom on the finer arts of time management, organization and the prioritization of tasks. Oh so pleasant!

Message delivered and walk complete, I left Little Miss at school with a quick hug and a peck on the cheek and continued on to my yoga class. Clad from calves to shoulders in lycra, I was eager to tune out the world, stretch my body, release my mind and just breathe. With the soothing chants of Hindu monks playing softly in the background, I unfurled my mat and sat, legs folded pretzel-like in front of me, feeling cramped and anxious in the over-crowed room. I closed my eyes. I tried to breathe deep, rhythmical, yogic breaths, but the tightness in my chest told me this would not be an easy class.

Our class leader, a lithe, nubile blonde with a lilting voice and tie-dyed leggings, took the front of the room. At the beginning of each class she usually asks us to focus on an attribute or characteristic that we would like to bring into our lives. You guessed it, patience is often top-of-mind for me. But on this day she offered this instead: “Rather than focusing on an attribute you’d like to bring to you, today I’d like us all to meditate on the idea of expanding the harmonious.”

WTF? In my current frame of mind? Some new age, airy-fairy nonsense was not what I needed. So I went through the motions, bending and stretching and contorting my body into unimaginable shapes, and there was nothing harmonious about it. Class over. Thank God.

Fast forward to the next morning. Another frenzied morning and another opportunity for me to parent by the clock and to instruct as we walk. And so we headed off, heads down and vision tunnelled, me in full lecture-mode. And then, out of nowhere, Little Miss started to play. With a poke to my ribs and a squeal of delight she was off and running to avoid retribution. I was charmed. Game on! I ran to catch up and launched my counter-attack, a combination hip bump/elbow nudge. “Take that!” I declared, egging her on, and then I was off, hell bent for leather further up the hill. Taking my bait she ran to catch up, threw her arms around me in what I thought was a hug but which, in reality, was a deceptive manoeuvre enabling her to deliver her final blow, a double pinch to the back of my ribs. “Gottcha!” she cried, victory hers. But suddenly she was distracted.

With her features shadowed against the morning sunlight she bent down and gently pulled from the grass a dandelion that had gone to seed. Transfixed by the delicate, cottony sphere, she asked, “Why are dandelions considered weeds, Mommy? They are so beautiful.” And then, with an exhale like a whisper, she released hundreds of feathery parachutes upwards and out, to float on the wings of a springtime breeze. And with a silken sheet of azure sky above and a circus of springtime colours, fragrances and sounds all around us, I saw the harmony in life expanding.

I have written before that my Little Miss teaches me more than I could possibly teach her, and people have asked me what I mean. That day I watched her play, spread her special brand of joy and notice the beauty in all things. This, my friends, is exactly what I mean.

6 Comments to “Expand the Harmonious”

  1. Hi Christie, You give me such a light at the end of my “little girl” tunnel. I love reading about your relationship with Little Miss. It’s so refreshing! And I agree, our kids teach us more than I ever imagined they could. My kids remind me daily to notice the little things and appreciate them. Just like the dandelion your daughter pointed out.

    Thank you for this great post!

    • Hi Becca,

      Thanks for checking back in. It’s so nice to hear that my tales of ‘Me and Little Miss’ are resonating. I, too, enjoy reading about your life with your little ones. It reminds me of days gone by (but not that long ago!), and of all of the fun and love and trial and tribulations that come with living that moment in our lives as moms. Thanks for always sharing so honestly,


  2. Nice post my friend. I couldn’t agree with you more. Indeed our kids teach us so much. I often remark that my number two girl arrived to give me the gift of non-judgement … she was that tantruming kid, she’s that argumentative 10 year old at the grocery check out…she’s also the one who will stop dead in her tracks to rescue a worm off the sidewalk.

    • Hi Joanie,

      Thanks for reading and sending your thoughts my friend. There are so many lessons taught to us by our own children and the children of others. Your youngest teaches all of us to go through life with gusto, milking all that you can out of each and every moment, and to smile as you do it!


  3. I so love your “voice” and it reminds me daily I am not alone….

Leave a Reply