The Goblin Stump

Winter is coming. Tomorrow. It will be Pords’ first. She probably won’t notice, snuggled as she’ll be in a constant cocoon of swaddles and blankets. But for Pickles it will be tough. The blossoming independence of toddlerhood curtailed by cold and rain. It won’t be this cold forever. But a season is forever when you’re two.

So today, despite my preference for summery warmth, I put on my raincoat and boots and zipped Pickles into his puddle suit and we went exploring in the misty rain of the morning. A generous wind, appreciating our efforts, had deposited a spray of bright pink flowers in a hollowed out stump in our front garden. Pickles was intrigued. I told him that the goblins who lived in the stump were having a feast. They love to eat flowers. Pickles suggested that they also enjoyed grass and leaves and set to work adding to their spread.

I wondered where the goblins were. Given that it was a rainy day, I was surprised they weren’t at home. Pickles knew. He told me that they were out riding bunnies. The goblins can be tricksters, but by and large they are kind and gentle. The bunnies are their best friends. So that answered that.

Pickles didn’t want to go to sleep tonight. I sat next to him and held his hand as he lay in his little bed. Close your eyes. We’re in the garden near the Goblin Stump. We can hear some beautiful music coming from the stump. It sounds like tiny little bells ringing. We can smell something delicious. We walk over to the stump holding hands. We see two little goblins drinking tea from tiny flower cups. They offer us some tea too. It tastes like raindrops. Suddenly we’re shrinking down to the size of the goblins. There is a puddle the size of a lake. We go swimming in the puddle. The water is cool but the sun is lovely and warm. The sunlight starts filling us up. We feel it in our toes. Our feet. Our legs. Our tummies. Our shoulders. Out to our arms and hands and fingers. Back up to our necks. Our mouths. Our noses. Our eyes. Our ears. Our hair. We are warm and filled with light. We float up up up into the sky. Higher than the clouds. We fly like two balloons. We see our house below and float back down. We are big again and we are tired and we climb into bed. Kiss goodnight. And sleep.

One of the advantages of doing guided meditations to calm Pickles for sleep is that it also enables me to work mindfulness into my day. It definitely doesn’t work every time. In fact sometimes if he is reminded of something fun that happened during the day he gets more excited and worked up and wants to go over the story again. Again! But it is always a special, treasured time and so even when it doesn’t work, it works.

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