I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm starting to enjoy mornings.
For most of my life getting out of bed in the morning has been the worst thing that ever happened to me. I LOVE my bed. I NEED to sleep. When I was younger I looked forward to Saturdays for the sole purpose of sleeping in as late as humanly possible.
And then! Well, you know. Little people arrived.
"MAMA! WAKE UP!" Has become a part of my morning routine. At around 6:30 every morning I wake up to a little face at the side of my bed informing me, "Mama! I waked up!" Her hair is ruffled and she clutches her special blankets. "Mama! I had a looong nap!" And our day begins. I stumble into the bathroom to help her. I brush my teeth and hear her brother begin to stir in his crib, chirping and cooing as he waits for us to come for him. We shuffle to the front of the house and begin our routine: lights on, PBS shows for them, coffee for me. I putter around the kitchen while my coffee brews, unloading the dishwasher and reloading it, popping waffles in the toaster, feeding the dogs. We sit together at the table over Sesame Street, Elijah in his high chair with Cheerios all over his face, Sydney sucking down a GoGurt. I check my email and drink my coffee, and we chat about preschool and the latest news with Elmo.
I have come to treasure these little moments before we begin our day. A little pause before we're rushing out the door to school and errands, before I'm running to pack her lunch and school bag, get us all dressed, get to where we're going on time. We are just here, together, starting our day. We have plenty of time to just putter along with no expectations. The world waits patiently outside our door.
As a mother I find that time goes by too quickly. I find myself frustrated a lot with how little of it I always seem to have, how I turn around and my son is suddenly over a year old. I want to enjoy my life more. I want to embrace it, in all its crazy glory, and own it. I want more time with my kids while they are small, so I can remember it. These mornings are a gift to me, I know it. Making changes like going to bed at 9:30 are worth it so I can just enjoy myself and be present. I don't want to screw this up by trying to fill the hours with more laundry folding, more dishes, more tidying, more scurrying … things I will regret.
I am striving to fill my hours with the things I will not regret: embracing my children and playing with them, smooching their cheeks and patiently fielding their strange requests that make no sense to my adult mind. Because they will remember these mornings too. They will remember their mother a certain way. And I have a choice about the mother I will be, the woman they will remember when they are older and drinking coffee at a table with children of their own.
There are so many days when I fall into bed at night wishing I could do so many things from the day differently. I screw up constantly. But in the morning I feel like I can start again. I have a chance to do things differently. My children wake up fresh, blank canvases upon which I can paint beautiful things … should I choose. And I am grateful for that. I want to add to the beauty in their lives. What an opportunity! I need to remember that when I have to discipline. When I am rushing about. When I am harried and angry and frustrated. I need to be reminded that my life needs to lend itself to theirs. That if my life is not beautiful then how can theirs be?
So I guess? This means I'm a morning person. And no one is more surprised – or more pleased – than me. So I raise my coffee cup to adding to the beauty; to appreciating quiet, lazy mornings with my children for what they are: a gift.
From Lamentations 3
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”