All day I have been telling myself to "be water." Be shapeless, formless and just flow. Stress is happening now all around me, but I can get through it if I just "be water". Thank you Bruce Lee. (Don't worry, I have his full passage below.) It sounds so easy, yet so hard to do. I try to let things happen without my judgement or intervention, but too often today, I crashed.
It's Monday. That means returning to work and daycare. We do this EVERY WEEK and yet, he forgets. This morning was effortless. After some minor whining about his teeth, he was up and dressed eating Cheerios by the fist full. After I washed his hands in daycare, he turned and immediately transitioned into play effortlessly. Be water. We had Monday fooled. I ran out the door and was off to work.
Be water. Be water. Get behind your desk and be water. Finish one task, do another, eat your lunch, go for a walk, come back and be water.
It's time for pickup. My son is so giddy to see me walking towards the play ground that he squeals. As I approach the fence, he is now jumping and down. He can no longer contain himself so he turns to his buddy and pow, right in the face. His mom tries to console him and my son tries to knock him down. My son is water in the form of a hurricane tearing up a pier. He is water so happy and out of control that he can't stop himself from hurting the ones around him.
I freeze behind the gate watching this happen since the scene is playing out directly in front of the door. My son is uncontainable. He runs for the play ground trying to out run us. We gather him. He is laughing and fighting at the same time. Then he turns his fists on me. Be water. The teacher is shocked and trying to stop him. Be water. I turn his body to face him away from me and hold his arms. He is losing and I am quiet and focused. And dang it, I am water, boiling water.
In the car, he whimpers as I stare out the windshield. We don't speak to each other which is rare. I am trying to drive the car and remember how to breathe. He is looking out the window in disbelief. He wants to be held as we move from the car to the house. No. Be water. "Boys who hit their mother don't get carried." He cries.
Once inside, the fighting storm of a boy turns into pitiful rain drops begging to come inside for a cuddle. He is tired and hungry trying to recover from the sudden outpouring of emotion.
My son will stop hitting his friends. My son will stop hitting me. He is learning that his rage pushes away the things he loves. It just takes time and a mother who must remember, to be water. Thanks Bruce Lee.
“Be like water making its
way through cracks. Do
not be assertive, but
adjust to the object, and
you shall find a way
around or through it. If nothing
within you stays rigid, outward
things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless.
Shapeless, like water. If you put
water into a cup, it becomes the
cup. You put water into a bottle
and it becomes the bottle. You put
it in a teapot, it becomes the
teapot. Now, water can flow or it
can crash. Be water, my friend.”
~ Bruce Lee ~