Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is your favorite daily routine?

My alarm is set for 7am, as it is almost every morning. It’s only 5am right now. I can hear the water running in the bathroom. My husband is getting ready for work. Every now and then I can just barely hear the sound of plastic hitting the porcelain sink. Most people would find it imperceptible, but I am sure it is there. He must be shaving; the timing is right. I know I should be getting back to sleep. I am still tired and I want to be prepared for the morning’s invasion.

I don’t know when my husband tiptoed out of the room. I fell back asleep before he left. My alarm is beeping. It’s annoying and I know it will only get worse if I don’t get out of bed and turn it off. Worse, if it gets any louder, it will wake up my daughter. She is an extremely light sleeper. I know it pulses into her dreams and brings her quickly to the surface found between sleep and consciousness. The sun does the rest. In this respect, I pray for cloudy days that will allow me to sleep in.

Once she is awake, she makes it a point to climb the ladder up to her brother’s bed and wake him up. He sleeps heavily and I can often hear her tiny voice calling for him in her still muttled speech. “Xander! I wan’ you to ge’ up peathe.” The sound of her voice always makes me smile. At nap time, while my son is in preschool, I often just lay in my room and listen to her talk or sing to her stuffed animals. Sometimes I hear the familiar rhyming verses from one of her favorite books. I imagine she is holding the book in her hands. Occasionally I will find the book lying on the floor next to her bed when I go to get her after nap.

The alarm is still beeping. I pull myself out of bed, acutely aware of how cold the air is around me, and go to randomly push buttons until the alarm is off. It is a cloudy morning and the deep brown walls do not offer any help to the gray light coming in through the heavy bamboo blinds. I can’t see the buttons to know what I am doing. Somehow, I have managed to tell my alarm to nap. I haven’t figured out how to turn off this function. My alarm will call again while I am at work and it will be screaming by the time I get home. Those are my thoughts as I climb back under my comforter. I know it will only be a matter of minutes, 15 maybe, before I am surrounded.

It’s still nice to lie here alone. But I am anxious for the attack. I start to nod off to sleep when I hear the tell tale trumpeting that the forces are approaching. I bunker down, burying myself deeper in my blankets, turning so my back is to the door, and sliding myself to the outer edge of the bed, but not so far that I may accidently teeter off the side. They are close. I can hear the slight creaking of the ladder, some shuffling, and then the opening of a door. The sounds are soft. No one who visits notices them. I listen for them every day. They are always present at this hour. And then there is a running across the narrow hall. Their bare feet slap against the hardwood flooring only to come to an abrupt stop outside my door. There is silence and then a whispered order, “Shhhh. We have to surprise her,” followed by agreement. “Okay.”

Then they are in my room. They rapidly ascend the cliff on my bed and come crawling across it as if under enemy fire. I stay still, eyes closed, playing asleep although the bouncing is big enough to wake an elephant from its slumber. A full body kamikaze attack ensues as both my children fling themselves on top of me in a bid to kiss my cheek first. There are battle cries of “Good morning!” and “Get up now!” as I wake up only to pretend to fall back asleep again. The battle over my consciousness wages for another few rounds until the little soldiers are tired of the game and pleading for surrender from my singular force.

It is only a few minutes, but it is this few minutes that I dread loosing. The other pieces of my day are enjoyable, but nothing is as comforting and life reaffirming as this simple act every morning. Even when I am away from home, I find myself waking up and looking at my clock, expectant that my kisses will come soon. Most times they do, but sometimes I know it is a missed opportunity. And those days are never quite the same.

1 comment:

  1. This is sooo SWEET!! I LOVE it. I love your descriptions. I love how you described everything...what you hear, waht you see, what you feel, how the room looks, how the kids move, how they whisper before jumping on your bed, everything! I do enjoy these moments too. I truly enjoy this. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece. LOVE IT!