Another day in the life of an American household. My practice is being supplemented with activities with a 2-year-old. I don't have any real knowledge of taking care of young children, but I offered to look after one of them while my friend taught a cello lesson for 45 minutes. He had pulled out a box of yoga card poses and wanted me to do the ones that he handed to me. So I got to stretch for a bit. And then we read poetry about penguins and I learned a lot of facts about their Antarctic life. After looking at some more animal books we started to watch Youtube videos of tigers and lions and I learned even more about these incredible large cats. I can see why they are his favorites.
And later in the evening, his mother thought it would be fun for the three of us to go to an art museum and see a dance performance. One solo dance in particular caught our attention; a man moving in silence, in large, demonstrative gestures, some of them counting, and then the whole performance repeated with a monologue accompanying it, telling a story (perhaps his?) of growing up in Provo, being Baptized in his parents' church at the age of 8, being the token male in the dance classes there, being gay, feeling very alone for it, leaving Provo, and then a very dark ending. It was a really captivating piece, for the way he danced, for the words that he spoke, for the message, especially as performed in this city. My friend and I really enjoyed it, but oddly enough, though perhaps for different reasons, so did her young son.
It's a lot of work to take care of children, but it's really cool to share things with them as well. It takes a lot to be on call every second and it strikes me even more so as I come and go from my practice sessions. I have a privilege in this period of my life to be in control of my time. I don't think people are really aware of how much work it takes to raise children. It appears to require constant giving and awareness, and even though that's not the same as some of the demanding tasks that people might experience in a typical work day, it's a skill and energy that has few other parallels. I also think it's really different to do a simple childcare task (or hour) than to be a parent, or perhaps even a mother. There is so much that is understood, accrued, and expected in that relationship and so much responsibility. I have incredible respect for the work that my hosts do to raise their family and maintain a balanced relationship for themselves. It's a big commitment, but between my privileged practice sessions I can see why someone would respect and follow through with such a thing. Certainly an additional privilege to be able to partake of it, even if only part time.