Be Still My Heart

Yesterday morning, I went to a yoga class. This is the second time I’ve been. It’s 500 yen for an hour-and-a-half. I was expecting it to be intense and to come home ready to hibernate (I so want to try that!), but I guess the instructor has researched the area well. It was mostly breathing exercises and some pressure point pressing, with maybe three semi-difficult poses thrown in.

I’ve done yoga videos a bit. Actually, I did them quite a lot about ten years ago, but I’ve never been to an actual class. I was too embarrassed. My flexibility is bad; my balance is bad. My butt is big and that thin knit fabric they use in yoga gear don’t help nuttin’ any, if you know what I mean. So I have nothing to compare this yoga class to, but since I was youngest person there by about twenty years and the only one able to do camel pose, it was a good confidence builder.

I started home feeling all relaxed and at peace with the big butt, but when I pedaled up beside my building, my heart stopped.

On the road, in front of Me First’s school, there were five fire trucks, a police car, and two ambulances parked, lights flashing bright enough to rival the mid-morning sun.

I felt sick. My palms were clammy. There was this awful, pounding noise that was deafening. It took just a second to realize it was my pounding heart. “Good, it’s started again,” I thought. (See? I’m funny and ironic even to myself.)

Like in that fuzzy way you do things without being physically aware of them in a dream, I walked my bike up to the crosswalk leading to the school. It took me a minute to process what it was my eyes were seeing: the building beside the school singed and black, people outside looking confused, children in the school yard practicing for Undoukai as usual. The school was okay. The building beside it had been badly damaged.

I let out a gushing breath even a yoga instructor would be proud of. “Be still my heart,” I thought, and said a quick prayer to a merciful god.

There were still emergency vehicles parked up and down the road when school let out, making visibility at the crosswalk very bad, so I took Me Too and went to pick up Bubba.

He came running across the street, pale faced and white-knuckled. (Why, oh why, can’t they let the kids out at a designated time? Class wasn’t supposed to be over yet.) It took me a while to get it out of him, but apparently he and a classmate had seen the fire from school, and went to check it out afterwards. Me First walked through a f@cking parking lot, and almost got hit by a car.


Thank god he was okay.

But I’m having trouble getting my heart to be still again.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. americanlostintokyo
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 20:32:49

    So glad to know it wasn’t a problem at the school.
    And, yes, I am with you on the designated time thing.
    Can’t tell you how many times I have been in a panic not knowing if my daughter was just running late because of school or because something really happened to her!


    • hamakkomommy
      Sep 28, 2012 @ 20:47:07

      I was talking to a group of Japanese friend’s yesterday, and they were all saying every teacher is different so “sho ga nai.” But really, in the US they manage to send the kids home at the same time every day. They have to because of the bus system. If the kids are going to be late, the teachers should really be required to call. A couple of times last year Me First was close to an hour late, and I wanted to go look for him but didn’t want to leave in case he came home. This was at a time when there were reports of weirdos bothering kids in our neighborhood. If he’s done something wrong or not finished his work or something, then by all means, keep him after school if you think that would work. But CONTACT ME first.


  2. Kym (@kymmytha)
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 13:49:11

    Scary stuff.
    But on a lighter note – I *used* to have a nice sticky out bum, but post-kids it’s transformed into a saggier, old lady type one. :( Years ago when I tried tai-chi for a bit, an instructor was watching me do one of the movements, and said “Try not to stick ou-“, then turned his head sideways, and said “Oh, OK.”
    Tai-chi really helped me with my balance actually, but I can understand anyone preferring not to look like a geriatric Chinese person.


    • hamakkomommy
      Oct 02, 2012 @ 22:08:18

      There’s some old people thingy they do at the sports center with foil swords and shiny pants. I don’t think it’s Tai Chi, but I could be interested in wearing shiny points and smiting things with a tinfoil sword….

      There is an old gentleman in our neighborhood who does his Tai Chi every morning. Outside. Without his shirt on. If that’s acceptable, then a sticky-out butt should not be a problem.


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