To get myself blogging again, I'm going to start posting a Question of the Week. I'll provide my own answer to the question and invite my readers to comment with their answers as well. So here is the first installment:
How would you like to start your morning?
Interesting question! As with many things in life, my fantasy and my reality don’t exactly match up where mornings are concerned. In a dream world, my mornings would start like this:
I'd have gone to bed and woken up at the same times consistently enough that I'd wake up to the morning light at 7:30 am on my own (no alarms and no children pestering me yet). I would have half an hour to check the headlines on my phone (local papers and Facebook) and write about any dreams in my journal. Then I'd throw on some slippers and pad out to the kitchen where I would start some water heating for tea and pop a bagel in the toaster. I would enjoy my tea and bagel in solitude while looking over the calendar and planning out the day. A nice hot shower would follow, and I would emerge dressed and ready for the day to find my two boys also dressed, fed, and ready for the day.
Reality looks more like this:
My oldest son wakes up around 6:50 am and starts an audiobook on a volume that could wake the dead, which, unsurprisingly, succeeds at waking up his younger brother. The toddler then starts kicking me (literally, kicking me) to get out of bed at 7:30. He is generally not tired enough to coax back to sleep but too tired to not be grumpy, or even walk to the kitchen himself, or so he claims. After dragging myself away from my kicking, grumbling, grabby-hands toddler to get out of bed, I shuffle down the hall to start some tea. Both boys start in asking to have cookies for breakfast, or at least a fresh batch of pancakes. Because pancakes (made with almond flour) have more nutritional value than cookies, I compromise on pancakes with a side of eggs. The boys fight over toys while I destroy the kitchen, spilling pancake batter everywhere and burning myself on the griddle. After the pancakes are devoured and the eggs are pushed around the plate for 15 minutes, I give up trying to give them a healthy start to the day, eat the leftovers, and head for the bedroom to get dressed. My shower is interrupted by two new arguments over how to play racing games and whether the monsters they are hunting are zombies or mummies, as well as a phone call from a solicitor that my son picked up and thinks is important enough for me to electrocute myself in the shower over. When the water runs cold, I quickly rinse my hair and climb out to find the dog has drug my towel across the bathroom to make it his bed. Dripping wet and cold, I dig a new towel out of the cabinet to dry off, and find that the clothes I've laid out on the bed are now a crumpled mess because the bed was actually a battlefield in my boys' imaginary apocalypse. I shoo them out to dress in privacy, which gives me just enough time to get one leg in my jeans before the dog and toddler run back into the room to hide under my feet from the ferocious monster chasing them. I trip and land on the dog, while the toddler yells at me for not being a strong enough fort to keep him safe and the oldest boasts with a victory dance on top of the bed. I suggest they go put their own clothes on for the day while I finish getting myself dressed, and they run off, not to find clean clothes but to avoid having to put on clothes at all. By the time I'm dressed and can wrestle the kids into clothing, I'm already exhausted and ready for a nap.
Oh well. Someday I’ll get to have those peaceful mornings I want right now. And when I do, I’ll probably spend some of that time remembering, with a distinct and presently unimaginable fondness, these crazy mornings I spend with my growing little boys. So despite feel exhausted more often than not, and struggling more than I would care to, I’m going to aim for finding joy amidst the chaos. I’ll seek to cherish the little feet on my back, the creativity of imaginative games, and the exultation in boyish voices when their pancakes are ready to eat and their battles are won. And I’ll work to join the chorus with my own voice of excitement and appreciation for the little things in life.
So how about you? How would you like to start your mornings? And how closely do your dream mornings match your daily reality?