My daughter woke up at 4:30 am this morning. The rain that had started when when we went to bed was still falling in a quiet, rhythmic pattern outside, reminding me of how little time had passed since I closed my eyes. The house was cold- our little space heater tries to heat our big house, but ends up being carried from room to room, as the days dive deeper into cold.
Mornings are tired, grumpy, half-hearted times, usually. The term "morning person" could not be less true of me. Before I had mandatory wake up calls (like children yelling at me to get up...) if I had somewhere to be I would allow myself time to wake up- slowly and fully, stretching out in bed, snuggling up to AJ. Sometimes I would get up earlier than I had to on my own to make coffee or cook breakfast- but those times were my idea.
Now, there is no such thing as my idea. There are two very noisy, demanding, hungry, half asleep alarm clocks coaxing me awake each morning. Much like being rudely awaken by your alarm clock for work.
But as I sat in my chair this morning, long before the sun would rise, looking for solace in my steaming mug of earl grey tea, I realized something.
I set the tone of the morning- not my daughter. As I drag myself out of bed, up the long flight of stairs to her room where she is standing and bouncing in her bed, excitedly awaiting her liberation, I can greet her with a sigh, telling her how much I wish she was still sleeping (which is the route I took this morning) or I can choose joy (or at least acceptance). Choosing to see my new norm (waking up at god forsaken hours of the morning) in a different light would completely change my direction for the day.
My choice won't always be the same- one day I'll be dragging Evie out of bed and missing the days when she needed me to make her oatmeal in the morning or warm up her milk for her. One day I will look back on these days with longing- where did my little girls go? The same is true of almost every phase of life.
Living in the moment and realizing its significance is one of my biggest passions. The problem is, I often forget to practice what I preach- especially at 4:30 AM. The sound of E's voice over the monitor, the smell of coffee in the grinder, the oatmeal that seems to make its way out of the bowl and all over her hair, the snuggles as we watch Thomas the Train. These little moments won't last forever and I'm freshly determined to embrace them- even on mornings when I don't want to.
In the mornings, choose the hard choice. The choice that takes work and intention. The body-dragging, heart-molding, eye-opening, spirit-lightening, coffee-fueled choice. Because those are the choices that truly matter.