My daughter used to wake up at crazy hours of the morning. I remember starting my day in the dark of night countless times, accomplishing more before 9am than anyone should. Then she reached an age where she could (mostly) understand logic, and we started convincing her that 7am was an appropriate wake-up time.
Of course, when our son arrived last year, he wasn’t interested in participating in this routine. His ideal wake-up time would be sometime between 5- 6am, although I could often manage to snuggle and rock him in a half-sleep sort of state for at least an extra hour each morning. He’s not exactly an early bird, but he has a lot of learning and playing to do, you see.
Since his birthday though, Arlo’s been fairly insistent about getting up early, and only accepts a small amount of cuddling before he’s fighting me to get out of bed.
Fighting, I say, because I am working hard to convince him that we should keep sleeping (or at least resting) as long as possible, while he plays, talks, and finally tries to push/crawl away from me.
I cannot explain why every fiber of my being resists getting out of bed before 6:30 with two busy children around me. Perhaps it’s because I don’t go to bed early enough at night, or perhaps it’s the prospect of entertaining the kids for an extra 2 hours before we have to leave for school, or perhaps just the fear of having a tired, cranky baby on my hands… But in any case, I recognize my attachment to “sleeping in”.
Something interesting has happened this week, however. This week I’ve challenged myself to let go of my attachment and make peace with the situation. I’ve decided just to accept getting up early.
It’s been a surprising difference. I have observed that a big part of the discomfort of waking up early is simply my attitude. Nothing miserable happens between the hours of 5 and 7am… it’s really just my own grumpiness that’s painful, and I’m the biggest victim of my own emotions.
Today I decided to appreciate the luxury of having so much time to get ready. I drank a coffee and made myself a nice breakfast while the kids played. I cleaned up a couple loose ends around the house. I sat on the floor and played blocks and laughed with my babies.
I really watched them as they built, and chatted, and bickered. And I was able to notice how tiny they are, and how fleeting this moment.
Imagine how sad it would have been to sleep through that.