The tick, tick, tick of the clock is the only sound I hear at the moment, punctuated every now and then by neighborhood cars as people start their day this last workday of the week. In a moment, my oldest will stir from his bedroom and start his routine for yet another day of high school. My husband and youngest two are still asleep, warm and cozy under down comforters in their rooms.
It is unusual for me to be awake so early. Mornings sneak up on me. I am well rested when I rise these days but it’s usually a slow acceleration from awake to functional. In contrast my husband can bounce out of bed with full energy and ability to hold a lively conversation the minute his eyes open.
Not me. Don’t ask me to talk first thing in the morning. Don’t expect me to remember anything either. My oldest son coined this phrase that we laugh about but it’s 100% true: don’t expect anything from me before I gain my “morning strength”. Coffee isn’t the magic elixir that delivers it, either. Morning strength comes only from standing on my own two feet for twenty minutes.
It’s not that I don’t like morning: I love it. I especially love waking leisurely to the birdies chirping outside and the gradual light of sunrise. I love seeking out a cool spot in the bed when stretching but then curling back up into the warm spot your limbs inhabited all night long.
One of my all time favorite things is when one of the kids climbs into bed in the morning and we get to snuggle and hug.. It’s even better when my youngest makes this little sing-songy whimpering noise, almost to the point of sleep-talking, when he stretches or settles into a new position. It melts my heart to hear it. We’re almost at the point where our kids have outgrown wanting to climb into bed with us. I’m gonna miss the smell of their freshly-showered heads tucked under my chin and the way their little bodies spoon mine. So sweet. So peaceful. Just warmth and protection, trust and love.
But on days like this, where I rise in the early morning as the first one up, I feel like I’m keeping watch over a sanctuary and helping its inhabitants prepare for a new day, except the inhabitants are people you love still angelically tucked away in their little cocoons for the night.
I have a routine when I rise first. I check on each heartbeat, plant a kiss on each cheek, stare in wonder how the faces of my children have changed yet again seemingly overnight, and then I leave to grant them peace, the luxury of sleep for however many minutes longer before their day begins.
Blessed are the mornings, aren’t they?