It’s impossible for a mother to conceal what she feels from an infant or a toddler. I have learned that I can’t afford to be anything but completely cool and relaxed no matter what happens. The electricity and heating go out on a freezing winter night, but I’m totally fine. The flight gets cancelled 6 times, but I’m in a happy place. Three enormous Baskerville-type dogs are charging straight at us and I go, “Look at the beautiful doggies! Hi, doggies!”

My reaction to dogs used to be completely physiological and visceral. I’d have adrenaline gush out of my ears whenever I saw even a little puppy. But it’s easier to train myself not to feel that than to deal with an anxious toddler. And it has to be completely sincere because it’s the emotions they catch, not the narrative.

So now all the people in the neighborhood think I’m some sort of a crazy dog lover. They bring dogs for me to pet, so I have many opportunities to practice my zen state. 


6 thoughts on “Calm”

  1. I need either your Zen state or Klara to achieve it 🙂 Flight got cancelled 4 times. So I am stuck in Chicago and coming from an international flight. After dealing with the most inept person I have ever met that messed up my re booked flight I thought I was going to loose it. Wish I had read your blog earlier.


  2. It’s impossible for a mother to conceal what she feels from an infant or a toddler.

    Is it? Why? Incidentally people say that about their dogs, which they also attribute intuition and mind reading powers to. “I knew as soon as my dog growled something was wrong.”


    1. Absolutely, aggressive dog means an aggressive owner, no matter how deep the aggression is hidden.

      Infants don’t have their own subjectivity. Their subjectivity is the mother’s. Gradually, they develop their own sense of self but it’s a process. The reason why they are so attuned to the mother’s emotional states is their complete dependence and helplessness. It’s a survival mechanism. Like people with Stockholm syndrome.


      1. I agree. Kids are super synced to their parents emotions and can read them like an open book…even before they can officially read 🙂


  3. My father was very good at suppressing most of his own fears when we were small. I know it because later he let his guard down and I realized he was more fearful than we thought. The fears he did have were contagious to a degree but it was useful, and somehow amazing, that he managed to not fear his fears so we wouldn’t. I DO know that one of the scariest things is to have scared parents and much of what I STILL do involves looking over my shoulder to make sure my parents aren’t scared. It is very terrifying to have them scared, intolerably so, and everything must be done so they are not.


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