morning without her.

I awoke as the natural alarm clock within me suggested, without offering a chance to press the snooze button.  It was 5:15am, and the mental post-it note from the night before reminded me I’d not yet taken the garbage to the fence.  I was still unsure what time the morning men came and gathered refuse, but I did not want to find out after it was too late.  I quickly came to find myself with shorts and flip flops on, crossing the dewy grass toting a giant wheeled garbage can over a yard in need of mowing.  Wiping my feet on the kitchen carpet, I patted myself on the back for a responsible use of morning, and paused to decide my next course of action.

Should I wake her?

I decided to make some coffee, and she continued to slumber.  In our old house, the kids would have heard dad walking just outside their door, but here I had the privilege of tip-toeing around the first floor while they completed their sleep cycles in peace.  A few roads waited passively ahead of me:  I could enjoy a bit of uninterrupted reading, wake her up, or begin to prepare for the day; among other things.  I chose to wait until just enough coffee was in the pot, to  pour myself a tall hot mug of focus (You have to love a coffeemaker that will continue to brew patiently until you return the pot.) and find my book.

I was reminded briefly of important things I needed to get with her about today.   But they could wait.

I’ve been reading a book on hiking the Appalachian Trail.  This morning contained incredible views of nature, combined with interesting stories of locations off the beaten-path, but well worth a brochure – if not a movie.  Then it happened – I heard the patter of feet above me.  I listened as they quietly traveled the distance of the 2nd floor, down the stairs, and out into my area of the house.  Thumb still in her mouth, our 2nd born smiled and mumbled an excited whisper, “daddy!” as she climbed into my lap.

I was thankful I’d chosen not to wake her still.  Mornings with my daughters are much better without her.  We cuddled, and Sophie willingly recorded a new ring-tone for daddy, before her sister joined us in the moment.  It wasn’t long before they returned upstairs to find something interesting from the previous night.  Again, I chose not to wake her.  Not just yet.

I went upstairs to find our 1 year old in need of changing, and sucking on a Ring-Pop her sisters had given her a moment before.  Apparently they felt sorry she couldn’t yet hoist herself from her sleeping prison, and knew a sucker would quiet her from interrupting their morning play.

Oh, the things I would’ve missed if I’d woken her earlier.  Sure, there were enough compelling reasons to wake her.  Important things.  Unimportant things.   We hadn’t seen much of each other the day before, and no doubt she had plenty of updates for me.

But as my three girls and I climbed back into our giant, queen sized bed with mommy to talk about the day ahead, and laugh a bit together….I was thankful I’d not turned on the computer yet that morning.

Of course, I had to use her eventually….or I wouldn’t have been able to tell the story of my morning without her. 🙂

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