Above the cacophony of the birthday party going on downstairs (Nikki turned 12 last week), I heard an odd noise that sounded something like “home…home…home…” coming from one of the bedrooms. I tip-toed down the hall to investigate.

There was Maddie, perched on her bed, her back toward the door, sitting in a lotus position with her outstretched hands pointed sky-ward. “Om…Om…Om…” she repeated, like a miniature yogi in deep meditation mode.

I stood and watched her for awhile, enthralled with yet another way that this five-year-old surprises and amazes me. Why was she here when all the excitement was downstairs?

Despite my efforts to stay silent, she spotted me. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she smiled a welcoming smile.

“What are you doing?” I asked.


“Why are you meditating?”

“Well, I just thought I needed time to myself so I wouldn’t get too worked up.”

“That’s a really good idea. Did someone teach you how to do that?” I knew she’d never seen anyone in our house model a meditation pose like that. Perhaps her teacher or a daycare worker had showed her.

“Nope. I just taught myself,” she said, matter-of-factly, as though it were commonplace for a five-year-old to disappear to her room for a time of meditation.

A few days later, I heard the “Oms” coming from her room again, and this time I didn’t interrupt. Another time, she said to me “Mom, let’s go meditate together.” So we did.

For twelve years I’ve been a mom. You’d think by now I’d know that these little people entrusted to my care teach me way more than I can hope to teach them.

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