My mother once told me a story about how, when I was a baby, I would wake as soon as the sun peeked through my window. Once I began to speak, I’d announce excitedly from my crib, “Mr. Sun’s awake!” The day had begun and I was ready to go.
For most of my life, I have been an early riser. Of course, there have been seasons where this was not true – my mid-teen years, my first semester of college, deep winter – but mostly, I’ve been an up-and-at-’em kinda gal and never before have I been more appreciative of this quality of mine than right now.
The early morning is my time. The house is still and quiet, and I can just be. I watch the sunlight spill over the hills into the city, I listen to the birds exchange their break of dawn chatter, I peek at my slumbering children, kissing them softly and replacing the comforters that have shifted during the night, I brew my espresso and drink in its aroma long before its warmth touches my lips. I do my best to not wake anyone as I putter about, knitting, scrolling, typing. Sometimes I indulge in a long, hot bath, sometimes I go for a walk, but always always always I try to gather up as much grace as I can, hoping it will carry me through to the next day.
It takes a lot of strength to be at home, all of the time. To be my best self for my family at every hour of the day without the kind of time away I used to have, before life shifted dramatically for all of us. I’ve always been the kind of mother who was made better by my time outside of mothering.
Please don’t misunderstand me, being a mama – especially to my three magical kids – is the very best part of my life. But, like anything, it simply can’t be the only part of my life. I never intended to lose myself into motherhood, in fact, the journey has done quite the opposite for me: I found myself as a mother. And in finding myself, I discovered that I am fortified by my experiences beyond raising my babies and cleaning my house, and that I bring it all back home with me to everyone’s benefit.
These days, when getting out of the house is damn near impossible and borderline illegal, the value of my simple morning ritual has really become evident. I’m measurably less irritable when I’ve had time to myself before beginning the duties of the day, so I have been making it a point to slip out of bed each morning.
I’m especially grateful to the sun for shining a bit earlier with each new day, the added brightness exponentially increases the potency of these sacred moments.
We’re coming up on 50 days in quarantine. But who’s counting?