The yoga dad shares an ode to love

Jun 10, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. ET
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Read an exclusive excerpt from Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi: Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting.

By Brian Leaf

Recently, Gwen has gone back to work part-time after years at home with our boys. Noah couldn’t be happier with the extra daddy time, but for Benji it’s an adjustment.Miadventures of a Parenting yogi | Sheknows.com

This past Sunday was our first full day without Gwen. Noah and I were setting up a puppet show when I realized that Benji was no longer in the den. Last I had seen, he was arranging his toy farm animals inside a fence.

I look around the house. He isn’t in the breezeway playing with his toy car ramp. He is not in Noah’s room having a peek at his brother’s things.

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I find him in our bedroom, blankie tucked around his legs. He is trying to open a tube of Weleda skin cream that Gwen uses on his hands and face when he gets eczema. I sit down next to him.

“Do you want help with that?”

A very tiny, “Yes.”

I unscrew the lid, squeeze a blop onto his knuckles, and gently massage it in. I squeeze another blop onto my finger and massage his chin and cheeks. Benji purrs, bathing in the loving touch.

The sun is shining through the window, warming us. Benji and I are cozy and in love, connected, staring into each other’s faces.

“I love you, Benji,” I whisper.

He smiles, soaking it in, basking in it.

And then he looks me right in the eyes, beaming, his tiny face alight, as he says, “I love . . . Mama.”

But it’s not personal. I think right now, for Benji, “I love Mama” is the most powerful phrase he can utter. It’s an ode to love. A magical incantation. It’s like Papa Smurf saying, “Boy, that Brian Leaf, he’s so Smurfy.”

Although, really, who knows, because right after that, still gazing into my eyes, he continues, “And I like goats and some hay.”

Brian Leaf is the author of Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi: Cloth Diapers, Cosleeping, and My (Sometimes Successful) Quest for Conscious Parenting. Read our Q&A with Brian Leaf to learn more about his parenting style.

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