Not every day starts as a blank page. In fact, most are quite the opposite: filled with to-dos and errands, work, chores, and tasks that sometimes I neglect to recognize the times when I don’t actually have an agenda, or a need to ‘get to work’ right away. This weekend seems to have started on just such a note…
6:00 – It is early morning, six kids are asleep and I toss and turn with the contemplation of getting up or staying a-snooze. “If they hear me” I think to myself, “then they’ll all think it’s time to get up.” It’s the weekend, after all, and they don’t seem to understand the concept of sleeping in, even for just an extra half-hour to let mom and dad enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee. No, I dare not move, at least not for another few minutes.
6:15 – Ok, it’s time to make a move. Alison rolls out of bed and offers to bring me a coffee when it’s ready. Good call; only one of us stirring about lowers the chances of them all thinking there’s fun to be had. Moments later she brings me a fresh coffee and I sit up to enjoy it when I decide that I’m going to do something I so very rarely get to do: I am going to play a video game.
7:30 – I’ve been playing for over an hour and no one has jumped on me, called my name, brought me stories to read, or asked me to bring them a snack…what manner of sorcery is at play here?! I don’t play video games often, but whenever I do, it’s never for more than a 15-minute chunk of time, so this is something of an indulgence that I haven’t experienced since, well, I can’t remember.
8:00 – I’ve enjoyed my ‘Zelda’ time, but I don’t relax well for this long. I get antsy and restless and need to move my body, so I venture downstairs where I find Alison enjoying her book by the fire. She sees me coming and gazes towards me lovingly, then smiles as she points her index finger to the sky, places it in front of her face, and exhales with the gentlest of ‘shhh’ sounds, as if to say “don’t you dare make one single peep or sound; this is the most beautiful, peaceful and quiet it has been in 7 years, and you better not spoil it. I did, after all, bring you a coffee in bed.” I pick up the vibe and settle in at the dining table with my computer and start typing away.
8:30 – I hear footsteps. They’re awake. This it: our time is up. Two little sets of feet tip-toe downstairs and the adults stay perfectly still; perhaps if we don’t move, then they won’t see us…
I prepare for the barrage of breakfast requests. What will it be today: waffles, toast, egg-white omelets, sausages, bacon, cereal, smoked salmon…I wonder what else they might throw at me? What that one thing is that they want and I hadn’t considered or prepared for? But, instead, they just cuddle up on the couch together, as the older of the two starts reading quietly to the youngest. It’s a story about dragons. It’s beautiful.
9:00 – It has been nearly three hours. Surely it won’t be long now before the other four kiddos realize that the sun has come up and there’s sausage cooking in the oven. Slow-moving mornings like this are a rarity in our household. They are precious and deserving of recognition, and by documenting these moments, I am at the same time recognizing that they exist.
With the quiet steeped-in, I am now off to prep for the arrival of family and food as we celebrate four wonderful birthdays.
Yup. It’s going to be a good day.