Little ones still get confused sometimes when breathing.
When we were young, we used to think our tummy should go inward on the in breath and balloon out on the out breath because you breathe in and exhale out.
We could not quite understand the synchronicity of the breath, until a few months ago, when people inside us began to allow our mind and body to sometimes work together. We practiced at the hospital. And then at home.
It was decades with wonky breathing. We learned to hold our breath in order to listen for danger and to listen for our parents to come home and discover what we was being done to our young, precious body.
We breathed shallowly through our chest. We know what it feels like to fight to get enough air. When it was real, when we were being crushed, it felt life or death. Since then, it’s memory, panic, false alarms 20 times per day.
When we are out in nature listening for birds, we can still stop on a dime and not breathe or make a sound. That old survival instinct being used to listen for Red-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creeper. Our quiet, winter friends.
It takes days like today, when we’re in physical pain and mind-body are split, to realize how sometimes we are in sync. Little ones are scared of our back pain, and so breathing is confusing! They want to breathe in during the exhale and vice versa.
It is scary to feel multiple people breathing inside us. And it is a gift that we can try to comfort the Littles today. Yesterday, we could not. Nor the day before that or the day before that one.
Tonight, we can. We have calm.
The back will heal. If we don’t stress about it, it hurts less, Little ones. Breathe with us. Inflate the balloon when you inflate with air. Let the air out of the balloon and feel the tummy get smaller. It’s a slow, healing game.