Some mornings I am awake far before my family. Still very dark and cold outside, I warm up my car as I wait on the coffee maker to provide just enough fuel to get me to yoga class. On my drive home I am thankful for the quiet. Never taking for granted the joy of driving alone. I marvel at the orange and purple clouds as the sun rises on them. And then I am home, often before any of my boys are awake. My clothing still damp with sweat, I decide whether I should shower or just dive into making breakfast. Usually the latter. I begin to hear footsteps upstairs. I move a little quicker knowing the boys wake up hungry. Some mornings mini waffles lead Kendan to announce that today is the "Best Day Ever!" Other mornings every breakfast option is refused and argued about. Damien doesn't want yogurt. Or, yes he does. No, they wanted the other cereal. The time we have before school quickly winding down and my hopes for eating breakfast myself fading fast.
Some mornings the boys wake up mischievous. Their methodical and quiet descent on the stairs, a soft giggle, and big brother hushing little brother are all evidence that they are ready to play. I pretend not to see them from the corner of my eye and let them believe they have successfully snuck up on me. "Ahhhhhh!" They come barreling around the corner and I do my best flinch accompanied by a shocked face. Other mornings they are already twenty minutes into a dance party in the bathroom with Daddy when I walk into the house from my brief departure. Thankfully, Daddy has recorded their best moves so that I wouldn't miss them. And, my goodness, what moves they are considering the complete lack of coordination on both of their parts.
Some mornings Kendan enters the kitchen fully dressed and ready to go. The outfit we agreed upon the night before satisfying him just fine. But then there are mornings where he refuses to dress. None of his pants are comfortable. All of the shirts he is willing to wear are dirty. He wants shorts despite the freezing temperature outside. And we are at a stand still. Damien is always the last dressed. I am usually able to haphazardly throw something on him on our way out the door. But his increasing reluctance to follow any of my suggestions leads me to believe those days are numbered.
Some mornings I yell. A lot. They're not eating fast enough. They aren't listening. They're fighting. Truthfully, my yelling is always my issue. I'm tired. Or I haven't planned our time well enough. But on the days I yell, it's much easier to blame it on them. Other mornings I don't yell. Whether the morning is going smoothly or not doesn't seem to phase me. I've come to terms with my perpetual tardiness long ago. Sometimes I don't even glance at the clock when I know we're running late because I refuse to let it rattle me. I get one chance to spend the boys' childhood with them. The chance of a lifetime. And I try really hard not to allow being late to stress me out.
Some mornings we have time to play before we leave. Toys come up from the basement. Baskets get dumped. Action figures fly through the air before being abandoned, waiting to be played with again after school. Other times we are out in a flash. No time to play. Breakfast plates left on the table with egg yolk drying to them. I'll sometimes return home after a couple of errands to find the lid still off the peanut butter. My half-filled coffee cup was left to get cold. Which I will heat back up later in the day. Always.
Some mornings we are woken up by crying. A virus has taken hold of one of the boys and sleeping comfortably is no longer an option. We move to the living room for an early morning show and consoling. Glossy eyed, feverish, and sad is never a fun way to see your children. But holding them close and reassuring them that it's ok, despite how they feel, is one of the best parts of being a mom.
Some mornings we all sleep in. Praise the Lord. We all take our time waking up. The whole family unanimously decides to walk to the local bakery for cinnamon rolls. Maybe the boys will ride their bikes. Barely making the short trip there and back because of their rumbling bellies. We settle in for a family movie and sugary treats. One of the best kinds of mornings.
But every single morning we wake up in our home. We wake up to find each other there. We wake up to the sun rising. We wake up as a family. I wake up grateful. Every day.