I am not a morning person. I am fully aware of the many blessings upon which I have been bestowed. However, thoughts of gratitude aren’t gushing from my foggy mind before my first cup of coffee or full cognitive thought. If I had my druthers, my day would start around 8:00-8:30 a.m. and end around 11:00-11:30 p.m. I prefer purplish-pink, seductive sunsets to orangey-yellow, blinding sunrises. I’d much rather enjoy a dinner of grilled, succulent rosemary-crusted lamb chops washed down with a glass of musty, full-bodied Cabernet than a piping-hot cup of coffee and a steamy bowl of healthy oatmeal with fresh fruit. I relish the end of the day when I get to put my daughter to bed. I take my time reading a few pages of Harry Potter in my best British accent before saying a prayer for our family, friends, country and soldiers. I spoon with her as we sing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” which, admittedly, can bring this bladder-eyes to tears. Lastly, I inhale her slumbering sweetness as I kiss her goodnight and turn off the light. I celebrate that my job is complete for the day and then mindlessly go through the bedtime rituals. Sometimes they include washing my face and brushing my teeth, sometimes they don’t. Sorry Mom! My husband, God love him, used to put toothpaste on my toothbrush every morning and night because he deemed it just as easy applying it to two as it was one; he already had the toothpaste out. It was an act that I under-appreciated until we got state-of-the-art brushes that were not kept together in one cup but charging at opposite sinks and didn’t lay flat like the manual ones. I wrestle out of my clothes and into my pajamas before falling decadently into bed. I optimistically dream about being able to make some headway in one of the many burgeoning “must-reads” spilling out from under my bed, only to doze off thinking, “I better get to sleep; the alarm will be going off much too quickly.” That last moment of consciousness before falling asleep is SO much better than the blaring buzzer that goes off every 10 minutes because your husband, who IS a morning person and regularly cites “Carpe Diem!”, sets it forty minutes earlier than necessary to wake up slowly.
One particular morning recently, neither he nor I had to get up early. Our sweet daughter came in about 7:00 a.m. and tapped me on the shoulder. Staving off my apoplectic reaction, my first thought was, “You have got to be kidding me!” She softly whispered, “Mom, I made you and Dad breakfast.” After I stifled my grumpy thoughts and frustration at her having unnecessarily awakened us so early, I stilled myself and thought, “Oh no! What big mess am I going to have to clean up when I get out to the kitchen?” She hasn’t quite mastered the technique of cracking eggs yet. I pictured slimy egg whites smeared all over my granite counter tops, crumbs scattered everywhere, etc. Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson came to mind. I dragged myself out of the warm soft bed and kept my grumbling to myself. When I got to the kitchen, the sight that greeted me stopped me in my tracks. There before me were two small bowls of frosted flakes soaking in milk. Adorning them were the absolutely sweetest smiley faces made of blueberry eyes and mouths and strawberry noses. I felt a bit shameful for not being more enthusiastic when she first woke me out of my deep sleep, but it was so worth losing those extra Zzzzzzs. Grace, thank you so much for helping Mommy to remember to be grateful…the little things are what counts. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Princess to Patty Cake