My cats are sadistic. I tend to blame my children for my lack of sleep, but when all is said and done it is the felines which are directly responsible for the bags under my eyes. Each domesticated cat seems to have the skills to determine the downright most annoying method of rousing its owner, and will employ said method on a daily basis to prove who really rules the roost. I love my cats, but I loathe their efficiency in the wake up department.
I often find myself awake at 4:30 or 5:00, and lately I have embraced the early morning for an early start. I put on the tea kettle and settle in. I check emails and news headlines. I feel a twinge of guilt every morning that I have woken up to a screen instead of something more organic, so sometimes I warm up the muscles with some stretching. I sit and listen to the sweet good mornings of the local birds. I might catch a neighbor sneaking off to work. But this is my secret time.
Four years ago, I was in the limbo between new motherhood and the workplace. I couldn’t figure out how to check office emails with a newborn on my lap. Energetically, it just felt wrong and physically it was completely awkward. I would sneak out of the bedroom after a midnight feeding and type away at 1 am. Eventually that industrious habit gave away until dozens and then perhaps hundreds of email stacked up. But in retrospect I am glad I did that. Urgent work matters warranted a phone call, but I was telling myself in a little way that this time with my newborn daughter was precious and guarded. Perhaps it was the first step towards being a SAHM.
Inevitably, my almost three-year-old son toddles out of bed just as I am writing a blog post. He takes my hand and leads me back to bed. We snuggle and have morning conversations that tick off my still-sleeping husband and daughter. The post waits in its draft form until the sun is well overhead and the kids busy themselves playing with blocks. And once again, I start the dance between what I’d like to get done and what is right in front of me. It always feels good to savor the moment of the latter.