I woke today just moments before the children. Before I heard Emma’s bedroom door open down the hall, and Abbie’s voice begin to beckon… I woke feeling already put upon. Which of course immediately led into self defeating remorse for feeling negative upon waking and tainting the day with my crummy attitude.
I knew that it was about to begin; the endless, thankless, barrage of wants, needs, bickering arguments, trials and crisis. I had missed that hallowed opportunity to collect myself in the silence before the day begins. Seconds after I became aware of my conscious thoughts I heard them. The starting gun had fired and I was not ready to race. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I can choose my reactions; that I needn’t feel tired and tried, that I can be light and joyful, exuberant even… My inner cynic laughed at these thoughts and mentally kicked me for being so naïve. I kicked back weakly and wrestled with feelings of self loathing.
I swallowed the lump rising in my clenched throat and threw the covers off. I went to get Abigail from her crib to the tune of her bellowing at the top of her lungs “MOOOOOOM!” Not once, or twice… but continually until I got there to retrieve her. I thought once again that it is time to get her that big girl bed. Maybe today… Being demanded at 5:50 a.m. sets the precedent for the day, and it is rarely an enjoyable experience. Of course if she has that “big girl” bed, there will be the evening hassle to consider. Will she stay put at bedtime or will I trade early morning demands for evening escapes?
I put Abbie on the floor, passed Emma in the hall and trudged back to the warmth of my coveted bed. I heard my husband breathing quietly and momentarily resented him the luxury to linger in the solitary confinement long after we would begin to face this day. The girls were hot on my heels and they climbed over and on top of me into the cozy comfort. Elbows and knees dug into my body, my hair was being pulled, and my pillow had been confiscated. Cold little feet pressed against my bare legs. Sweet little heads nuzzled into my face and I had a split second of bliss breathing in the clean scent of their corn silk hair. Then Abbie began to cough, just the remnants of the latest cold which rears its ugly head in the early morning. I sent her out to get her water from the other room. And begrudgingly accepted the fact that snuggle time was over. The day was off and I had better get a move on if I hoped to keep up.
I took a deep breath, braced myself for the obstacles that were certain to come. Climbed out of bed and began to put on my layers of morning attire. I rounded up the crying, scratching cats, herded Abbie out and shut the door behind me. Emma stayed in bed with her Daddy for a little while longer. As I took my first sip of coffee I tried to remind myself that grace isn’t always easy, the days that challenge us are necessary to help us appreciate life’s wonderful moments. I kindly afforded myself the excuse of being human, that perfectly imperfect state of existence.