The heat has come to my California town, and with it, early sunrises. I simultaneously love and hate that early morning light streaming through my bedroom window. I hate it because every single morning, when my eyes flutter open well before 6 AM , I flashback to the days when I could sleep in so easily, all I had to do was turn off my alarm clock. Light, sound, class… nothing could pull me from the comfort of sound, solid sleep. It’s isn’t that way anymore. The children have ruined sleep for me, and I fear the damage is permanent. I’ve heard folks say that someday it will come again, but I’m not talking about babies sleeping through the night. We’ve arrived at that blessed day. I’m talking about the catastrophic damage done to my circadian rhythms by 8 years of up and down all night, of early risers, and middle of the night peed sheets. I think 8 years is a long time and it’s probably unrealistic to expect my body to bounce back just because the kids all sleep through the night and are capable of getting themselves a little started breakfast in the morning.
But, there is also a part of me that loves the early light. It’s so much easier to get up to a quiet house before the start of the day when the house isn’t dark and cold. It’s already hot by 6, so I might as well leave my sticky sheets behind and enjoy the peace for as long as it might last. Which is never long, of course. But even a minute or two does something to the soul, and that something is good.
One of my long-limbed boys has now joined me. He’s reading on the couch while I hack out a blogpost from the loveseat, and I’m thinking that for just this moment, everything is so very good.
That’s what we get, isn’t it? Moments and Seasons. Moments where the earth pauses and you notice the small slice of perfection. Other moments that pile one on top of each other in rushes of pain or exhilaration. Seasons of hunkering beneath the quilts and seasons of early morning wide eyes and the creeping sensation of a hot day coming. Seasons of laying about all day, come hell or high water. And seasons where you move in a frenetic pattern through your days, your life, and you just can’t seem to stop. Neither is permanent. The moment passes, the season changes. And all that’s left is whatever we managed to gather before it all shifted again.
Today, I’ll gather up the bony bare shoulders of my oldest boy, peeking above his book. His little boy face, so earnest and still droopy with sleep. How big, but still how small he is. The couch nearly swallows him up. I’ll gather up the minutes that have ticked by while I’ve breathed in and out, gathering peace and stillness, with prayers that I’ll be able to store them and call on them throughout the day.
Because the day is coming. It’ll jam itself full with all the unknowns, the frustrations of dawdling boys who need to get ready for school, the joy of kissing them before they scamper off to class, the knowing that those days are numbered. Soon it will be just a side hug, or maybe just a wave. Lord, have mercy. I’ll pick up the same room 3 times. I’ll feed and cook and wipe down surfaces. I’ll break up fight after fight. I’ll kiss my husband. I’ll throw myself pity parties as I clear legos from beneath the kitchen table again. And more than once, I’ll think to myself as I glance around at all the hustle and bustle of life, that I’d live every single second again. Because no mother has ever had more fantastic children.
And no woman has ever been loved so well.