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  • The Morning Routine

    November 18, 2010

    I am by nature a morning person.  By 5:30 am, I am itching to get out of bed and get going.  But by 8:30 pm, I’m spent; ready for bath, bed, and beyond.  AD, on the other hand, is a night owl.  Consequently I have always assumed the morning parenting duties while he takes the bedtime shift.  And it has worked well for our family.

    The other morning Sean got up earlier than usual and stumbled into the kitchen where I was sitting at my desk.  He wrapped his arms around my neck and then lodged himself into my lap.  He squirmed and shifted as he tried to find a comfortable place to stash his long legs.  He twisted his head this way and that as he tried to nestle into my neck.  He doesn’t quite fit me the way he used to.

    As we sat there quietly and uncomfortably like two mismatched puzzle pieces, I reflected on how our morning routine has changed over the past seven years.

    When he was a brand new preemie newborn, we were instructed to feed him every two hours.  So I would wake him from his sleep at 4am to feed him.  After his bottle I would lay with him on the floor under the glow of the lights of the Christmas tree and stare at this weird little four-pound alien creature who had rocked my world.   While the dog snuggled into the curve of my back and Sean snuggled into the pillowy softness that was my post-postpartum front,  I would study his face and count his eyelashes as I watched him drift back to sleep.

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    The next year, I would tip toe into his room early in the morning hoping to find him sleeping so I could check my email or enjoy a cup of coffee in peace before the day started.  But being a morning person like me, I would most often find him standing in his crib waiting for me. He would bounce with excitement when he saw me and squeal with joy.  Then he would stretch out his arms for me clenching his chubby little hands in and out in the universal and dual-purpose sign for Get me! and Milk!

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    I would lift him out of his crib and inhale the morning essence wafting off his neck.  Then I’d wrap him up in a blanket and carry him away to the den where we would sit on the couch in silence save the slurping symphony that is the sweet sound of a congested baby sucking on a bottle.

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    The next few years, I would often wake up to the sound of someone breathing in my face.  I would force open one eye to see him standing next to my bed, two hopeful little eyeballs staring back at me, willing me into consciousness.  I would pull on my robe as a footsie-pajama clad policeman led me away by the hand to the den.  We would get our respective beverages, snuggle in an afghan on the couch and then build with Legos until the sun came up.

    The days of snuggling together in a blanket with a bottle and playing all morning are no more.  Now we have to get up and get going; we’ve got to meet the world.

    But before we get to lunch packing, paper signing, breakfast making, backpack packing and world meeting he sits on my lap for a minute or two and tries to figure out where to put his legs while I inhale his morning essence.

    He still rocks my world.  And he still fits.

    33 Comments »

    1. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      🙂 And they always will. Beautiful as always, Mama.

      November 18th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    2. Blog Antagonist says:

      I really miss those days. They were so…carefree. No alarm clock, no schedule to keep, no place to be. And at 12 and 15, mine don’t fit anymore. At all. Plus, the elder has become a hermit who only ventures out of his natural habitat for sustenance. SIGH. They told me it would happen, but I guess I didn’t quite believe it.

      * * *
      Plus the morning essence at 15 is not so great either. ~AM

      November 18th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    3. Big Mama says:

      And so now I’m crying.

      November 18th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    4. Dianne - Bunny Trails says:

      Aww, what a sweet and beautiful post. It’s hard to remember those days as time passes. Mine are 17 and 15, but those were precious times. Now the fitting is different, as they’re nearly 6′ tall and they put their arms around my shoulders.

      I’m chuckling at Blog Antagonist’s comment regarding the essence. Um, yeah. We have stock in deodorant. Whew.

      November 18th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    5. rrmama says:

      I feel the exact same way!

      November 18th, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    6. heidig says:

      ohhhhh, how sweet! love this post.

      November 18th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    7. Amy says:

      You always write what I’m thinking so eloquently. Very moving…

      November 18th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    8. jean says:

      Even at 14 my son still tries to sit on my lap. If I want to hug him he either has to bend over or stand two steps down so as to be at the same height as me. It’s not the same but it still works.

      November 18th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    9. Quirky is a Compliment says:

      Almost makes me want to be a morning person…almost. The good news is that if her kicking is any indication, Baby girl is going to be a night owl like me. She’s most active (kung fu? kickboxing class? Training for the Rockettes? What is she DOING in there?!?) between the hours of 10pm and midnight. Which is fine with me. We can share the witching hour together. Leave the mornings for her daddy.

      November 18th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    10. edj says:

      That morning smile (from the pic where he’s in the crib) just strikes fear in my heart! I miss the cuddly toddler days, but I’m glad my teens all sleep in as much as possible 🙂 I’m definitely a night person.

      November 18th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    11. meghan @ spicy magnolia says:

      Brennan is about where Sean was in the second picture. Whenever I read your posts, the longing in me to make time stop multiples exponentially. And as I put him down for his nap, I took in some extra whiffs. 🙂

      November 18th, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    12. Ginger says:

      What a beautiful reflection of the early years of motherhood, through the eyes of one who waited and knows she is blessed.

      November 18th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    13. Tiff @ The Faery Inn says:

      That sounds lovely. I awaken to the sounds of thumpings, thuddings, accompanying what I call “bunkbed olympics”. All courtesy of the four children I call mine.

      Sigh…a quiet morning cuddling has never been my destiny, sadly.

      November 18th, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    14. Kat says:

      This put a lump in my throat and brought back so many memories!

      Enjoy every single morning.

      Hugs,
      Kat

      November 18th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    15. Kathy says:

      Drats, AM. You made me all misty. My two children are now grown and married. And I miss the morning cuddling and one more sigh with a little one in my arms. Sweet sweet AM. Take it in. It goes by too quickly!

      November 18th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    16. cindykay says:

      One of my nearly six-foot teen sons complains that my hugs aren’t the same now that he towers over me (I’m 5’2″), and so he will sometimes kneel down on the floor so he can be child-height again when he hugs me. Sigh. I miss those old hugs, too.

      November 18th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    17. Cyndi - The Adventures of HarryJack says:

      I was just reading an old post and remembering those schedules a little wistfully….luckily, school holidays are around the corner. We plan to make the most of it 😉 Jealous of those great early pix….lovely!

      November 18th, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    18. Roxanne says:

      Love this post. . .love it. My own children are now mostly knees and elbows, and I think I have finally reached the point where I can no longer pick my (12 year old) daughter up–OR let her jump and land in a picked up position. . .but we find ways to still “fit.”

      November 19th, 2010 at 2:01 am

    19. Brigitte says:

      Even as a baby, mine has always been too wiggly to snuggle very long, but I take what I can get!

      November 19th, 2010 at 4:54 am

    20. Karen says:

      Sweet and beautiful post- made my morning-thanks for sharing!

      November 19th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    21. momof8 says:

      Such sweet pictures. I still snuggle with my 8 year old on the couch. He is getting too big for my lap, but I still try. Hope I’m not quite like the mommy in the book “Love You Forever” that just cracks me up, but is sweet just the same. (She goes up a ladder and through a window to hold him while he sleeps in his room as an adult. In the end he holds her as a tiny grandma and I think the cycle starts again with his child.) Anyway, such lovely memories!

      November 19th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    22. Cathie says:

      Gabe fits the same way, and I am dreading the day that he won’t fit, or won’t want to.

      November 19th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    23. Elizabeth says:

      Love it! I hope my four kids fit for awhile yet!

      November 19th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    24. Fern says:

      A beautiful post. It was just the other day when I looked at the 21 yr old sitting next to me and ran my fingers through his hair and sighed. We have gotten through the teen years of distancing and difficulty, and are back on the side of touching. My kids may be 18 and 21, but when I look at them I see 2 yr olds. They always fit, just not always in the same way. And I am still amazed and in awe that God has blessed me with these two.

      November 19th, 2010 at 11:52 am

    25. Kay says:

      I still pull my girl into my lap, even though her feet drag on the floor. Her body doesn’t fit but her heart still wants to be there and I’m glad. : )

      November 19th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    26. Lynn says:

      My youngest is 14 and way too tall for sitting on my lap. Luckily I have 2 grandchildren living in the house with me. Every morning my grandson comes looking for me to sit on my lap and draw pictures with me. It’s a wonderful way to start my day!

      November 19th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    27. Heidi says:

      And when he is grown and has moved out of the nest; when you have to stretch above your head to hug him, while he bends at the waist to hug you back, he will still fit. Perfectly.

      This, like all your other posts, was just beautiful.

      November 19th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    28. Cathleen says:

      You write so beautifully, and your post brought tears to my eyes. But did you know that reading about your relationship with Sean reminds me to appreciate my own kids more, makes me stop on a busy day to just soak up their sweetness, and inspires me to be a better mommy? Thank you for that.

      * * *
      Oh what a nice thing to say! Thank you. You’ve made my day. ~AM

      November 20th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    29. mythoughtsonthat says:

      My boy and I meet on the couch each weekend morning when we don’t have to get out of the house. He is 10 now, so no lap sitting but he snuggles in next to me and we have some time together. These times will be over in the blink of an eye, we need to enjoy them while we can!. Peace.

      November 20th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    30. momneverstops says:

      What a beautiful post. I treasure the times I get a hug and snuggle from my boys.
      I still get a kiss goodbye and an I love you. That makes my heart smile! Enjoy these moments with your son.

      November 20th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    31. Katherine says:

      As a mother of two boys age 5 and 3, I usually have to bury my head in my hands and cry while reading your touching posts. It’s not so much that I am sad, but just the overpowering feeling of love I have for my boys and the remembrance of those special, precious moments of the past. What lovely times we all had.

      November 20th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    32. Jackie @ Family Daze says:

      I especially love that picture of you and your sweet little newborn boy looking at each other. Precious.

      November 22nd, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    33. Ellen says:

      Awwwww… you make me misty.

      But on a mostly unrelated note… one day your son may marry a night person. And one day you and that lovely girl may be staying in the same place overnight. And when you do, please remember to be quiet when you get up early and to stay quiet until the reasonable hour of 8:00 a.m., and please don’t pack at 5:30 a.m. when her room is right next to yours, and please don’t judge your night owl daughter-in-law for not being an early riser.

      Sincerely,
      Trying to strike a blow for all daughters-in-law of early morning MIL’s everyone OR can you tell who we spent Thanksgiving with? =)

      * * *
      Ok, I just want to say that when I get up early, I’m reeeeeallly quiet, because the last thing I want is other people to get up and join me because then I would have to find/wipe/cook something. And that would defeat the whole purpose of getting up early. In fact, I sit at my desk and pray, “Dear God, please don’t let them wake up for another hour. Or two.”

      November 29th, 2010 at 2:08 pm

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