This month, I’m doing a writing challenge created by Cecily Kellogg. It’s called 500 Words Every Day and it uses the hashtag #500WED. I love the goal, which is “to fall in love with writing.” There’s a daily prompt or you can write whatever you like. Here’s the link to follow along with my answers, if you’re so inspired. And feel free to join in! Here’s the link to the homepage. I won’t be posting all of my responses here, but I thought this one was fun. I didn’t edit this one very much at all. In fact, all I did was run a quick spell check. So forgive me for run on sentences, poor grammar, and the like. So tell me, how are *your* mornings?
Prompt: How are your mornings?
My eyes gaze wearily at the cable box, trying unsuccessfully to read the digital numbers. And I am reminded yet again that without my glasses or my contacts, I am so flipping blind. I blink and blink and squint and blink again, trying to get the sleep and blurriness out of my eyes. In frustration, I look at the blinds on the windows. If I detect the tiniest bit of light, then I know it’s about fifteen minutes before my cell phone alarm goes off. Anything darker than that and I roll over and force myself back to sleep.
In the quiet silence of the morning, as I lay there unable to go back to sleep, I force my eyes shut and try not to think of the billions of things on my plate for that day.
I hear a soft rustle of blankets and sheets. And then? The creaking of a floor that lets me know my three-year old is either stirring or is fully awake and headed my way.
Although it’s pointless, I still pretend to be asleep.
I hear her shuffle into my room and come deliberately to my side of the bed. Intuitively, she knows approaching her father’s side would be a wasted effort. He’ll smile and encourage her to go play for a while. I, on the other hand, am a complete sucker and will get up with her. And she has me figured out.
I feel her hot little breath against my skin – she is standing mere inches from my face. As if she’s some alien from outer space, she tries to will me awake with her dazzling mind powers. Or so it seems. She inches closer … closer … and finally, I feel it. Her sweaty little pointer finger gently pokes my eyelid.
“Mommy,” she whispers. “Are you awake? It’s time to get up,” she says with the cheeriest disposition I’ve ever heard from someone at this god-awful hour.
It takes great effort, but I finally start to move my eyelids. They don’t want to open. Somehow, in the amount of time between squinting at the cable box and now they have glued themselves shut.
My eyelashes stick to one another.
And then finally? They open. She’s fuzzy at first, but then with several quick blinks, she comes into focus like one of those dream sequences on TV.
She smiles a wide, toothy grin that spreads from one ear to the other. And her eyes are twinkling.
My girl is awake. And now, so am I.
I swing my still-sleeping legs over the bed and onto the floor, grab my eyeglasses and follow my skipping child to the hallway, down the staircase and into the living room. The temptation of the soft, squishy couch is almost too much to resist.
But soon we are in the kitchen where I reach for a bowl and the cereal box. Every evening I say I’m going to have a no-carb breakfast and yet every morning I go for what soothes me: a bowl of cereal with cold milk. Eggs seem to be too warm, maybe it’s their “sunny” disposition. Toast, poptarts, and the like are also too warm. There’s something about a cold bowl of cereal that wakes up my mouth, my senses, and my body. When I was a kid my favorite was Frosted Flakes. Now as an adult, my girl and I bond over Honey Nut Cheerios. Different taste, but same effect. She smiles. And finally, awake, I smile.
Now, we’re ready to begin our day.