Lucas and I were driving to his school (Nashoba Learning Group) this morning, and we were – as usual – having a “conversation” with Miss Piggy, Luke’s favorite personality to speak to several times a day (I do a mean Miss Piggy impersonation, if I do say so myself :)).
A vehicle for teaching life lessons
Over the years, Lucas and “Miss Piggy” have developed a deep relationship and she has evolved a rich back-story. Miss Piggy is, of course, an accomplished actor of stage and screen, lives in a penthouse apartment in New York City (in all pink, naturally), and has a butler named Reginald.
She is cultured, sophisticated, sometimes irreverent, and always expects the most of those around her. So, I’ve learned to “use” Miss Piggy as a foil and guide to teach Lucas life lessons – sometimes hard lessons – during our chats.
The student becomes the teacher
Today, Lucas had the hiccups because he ate his breakfast a little too quickly. During our drive in, he “called” Miss Piggy on the phone and she immediately noticed this. So, “she” asked Lucas if he would like to try some deep breathing and relaxation together. He agreed, and Miss Piggy asked him if he would like to start.The first words that came out of Luke’s mouth – in a calm, soothing voice – were “Hear your voice echo in your mind. Just let go and relax.”.
Um, okay… wow! Lucas is a really sharp kid, and he’s been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a lot of great teachers, therapists, friends, and others over the years. So, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. But, I was… in such a wonderful way!
Even a speeding car on the highway can be a place for a zen moment
My son, barreling down I-95 at over 90 mph (yeah, we were running late, as usual) was leading me and Miss Piggy on a relaxation exercise to stop his hiccups. Miss Piggy helped him / us go through a series of breathing and focusing steps to slow us down, clear our minds, and center us. When we were done, Lucas and I were silent for a long time, just letting the other cars, the highway, the surroundings pass us by. I realized that I was calmer, more focused and centered myself.
Finally, Lucas said “Goodbye” to Miss Piggy in his typically silly and sarcastic way, just as we were turning off the highway to drop him off to start his school day. Lucas – and Miss Piggy, of course – demonstrated to me that mindfulness and wellness can not only be taught TO neurodiverse people… it can be TAUGHT and LED by neurodiverse people very effectively.
I also learned, once again, that any place can be a Zen meditation garden… even the interior of a car rolling down the highway at well over the speed limit.
Be Healthy, Happy and Kind
PS: It worked… Lucas stopped hiccuping!