A Lead Dad’s Mantra for His Son

Gerald Olson is a Lead Dad living and working in Los Angeles, California. He adopted his son Astor through California’s “Safely Surrendered Baby” program, which allows a mother to surrender her newborn within 72 hours of birth, no questions asked. Olson got a call on a Thursday night and picked up his infant son the next day. That was three and a half years ago. Early on, Olson created a mantra for Astor that he would recite to calm him. It’s simplicity is applicable to all children in this chaotic time.

I’m a practicing Buddhist. I have a meditation practice. I gave my son this mantra and he’s now playing it back to me. We use it when we need to calm down. What I’m really proud of is how it works for me to connect with him, to find a really sacred space of connection where we get in and out of it quickly. The most basic principle of Buddhism is we all want to be seen and heard. That’s human nature. I’m really proud of our quiet spaces, and finding quiet spaces in the middle of craziness is important.

Astor’s Mantra

I see you.

I hear you.

I feel you.

I know you.

I love you.