Got up early ... one step ahead of the herd! Yah me!
Uh-oh! They’ve sensed my happiness somehow and have trickled out of their crib/bunkbed/aerobed (left up after a weekend sleepover and still has real appeal to oldest daughter). But I heard them squawking at each other over who was first in line for the bathroom, and it’s given me yet another head start to the kitchen.
If I can get cups of milk filled, toast buttered. And bird shaped, cookie-cutter-ed (in honor of spring, of course) within the next five minutes, I still stand a chance at enjoying the early morning peace that only daybreak provides.
A peace that is shattered for me if it’s interrupted with complaints, requests, sometimes unwarranted suggestions, signs of illness (lying just far enough below the surface for husband to label me a “worry wart”, but blatant enough for me to know just what to expect in an hour or two), and last-but-not-least, general resistance to a routine that rules our lives for nine months of the year. Is it really too much to ask that I get to enjoy this short window of bliss? Can’t they see how much better off we all are if when I get this time to myself? I already get up by 6:30 a.m. everyday, just how much more of my sleep do I have to sacrifice?
How does an adult (me) allow four, much younger people (my lovely children) decide my fate everyday? I ask myself this question all the time. I don’t know. Maybe I’m a control freak, and have yet to accept that motherhood is an uncontrollable lifestyle. But it’s been thirteen years since I started this gig, shouldn’t I have adjusted by now? One would think so wouldn’t they?
So, here I am, planning. Planning my strategy for tomorrow morning. But my thoughts are interrupted by extremely loud and somewhat painful-sounding laughter from the kitchen. They’re listening to their father do a French accent while he explains the difference between the ketchup we have in the fridge, and the new and improved ketchup we’re going to try. I bet he didn’t’ plan that. In fact, I’m sure he didn’t. Somehow, he has escaped being striped of his senses for both humor and spontaneity.
Like me, he has a stressful job, and little time to himself here at the home front. Yet somehow, he doesn’t seem nearly as enraged by our offspring as I do when they ask the same question for the hundredth time even after being warned to stop. He goes to bed and sleeps soundly, not worrying “that there must be something truly wrong with our children” as I am often apt to do. He’s not planning a war strategy, is he? No, he’s sleeping. Resting. Re-energizing himself for his peaceful daybreak ahead. One that gives him his ”ticket to freedom” as I like to call it; that get out jail free card he cashes in each morning as he leaves me (alone with the herd) to head into the office.
But, alas, when it comes right down to it, I know it is I who has the real “ticket to freedom”. Isn’t it I who will get to snuggle up for a nap with at least two of the herd that aren’t yet enrolled in elementary school? It is I who gets to go to on a three-hour long play date at my best friends house at least once a week? Isn’t it I who gets to stay in my pajamas when I want, for as long as I want?
Yes, yes, and yes!
I can see now. All along I’ve been focusing on controlling my peaceful daybreaks, when really I should have been focusing on my lovely, breaks in the day. My self-determined perks that I administer frequently and lavishly upon myself as I see fit. What better free ride could I ask for? The good news is that it’s not too late for me! Tomorrow morning, I will arise, as usual, but instead of holding my breath in dred of a morning ruined, I will take it as it comes. Whether it’s to sound of little voices growing big, or giant sunrises greeting me privately, I will take it in stride, live in the moment, and take stock in what I have. As opposed to what is missing. Wish me luck, okay?