I am thinking of teaching Carter about meditation. He has slid back into being the terrified 3 year old of our post 9/11 days. He doesn’t want to let me out of his sight. He has a baseball game tonight, one that I can’t attend because I am helping to facilitate a bereavement group. He doesn’t want to go to the game if I can’t be there. He is quite simply terrified that when I leave his sight, I will die. How can I comfort him? I can’t promise him that I won’t die, because he will say “but daddy wasn’t supposed to die and he went out one day and didn’t come home.” He’s right. I have no guarantees. And so as I read Eckhart Tolle and meditate online with Jon Kabat-Zinn, I realize that I need to teach my son that his thoughts are separate from his mind, his self, his soul. How, I wonder, do you put that into words that an 8 year old will grasp?
Fear is a powerful force. They have taken over Carter’s life and therefore the lives of Olivia and I. I know that in acknowledging them, we give these fears their power, and yet they invade our lives daily. “Tell them to go away,” I practically beg him. “I can’t! I just want to die!” is Carter’s typical response. And so I find myself looking for meditation CDs for kids, in hopes that perhaps I can teach Carter how to regain control of his own mind, and see that his thoughts are separate from who he is. Its a concept that even I struggle to grasp, but I can see the benefits of quieting the mind during those times when my brain is teeming with intrusive thoughts. Teaching Carter to meditate will be an experiment, one which I hope will quiet his mind, and mine.