Please forgive the white balance -- it was set incorrectly on my camera,
but this photo was just too much. I had to post it!
When I'm at work thinking about how fabulous it would be to be a stay-at-home mom, the first thing that pops into my head is "Mornings! Yeah for sleepy mornings!!!" I'm sure the first thing that popped in your head was "Aaaah, she wants to be a SAHM so she can sleep in with Finn." In that, you would be wrong. I would still rise early -- just to watch my little lady wake up.
She has this stretching routine that lasts, I'm not joking when I say this, at least 3-4 minutes. And the first pose is the photo at the top of the post, which I like to call "morning warrior I". Her little pudgy arms fling straight above her head and her even pudgier legs are drawn into her chest. Her back arches off the bed and the pose is held for 5 seconds. Then her legs are flung (and yes, FLUNG is the appropriate word) the opposite way, straight as a board. Her back pushes into the bed, all while having her arms straight above her head -- see "morning warrior II". There is also a variation known as "morning warrior III", which she flings her legs & her arms straight down. I always imagine that if I were to interrupt her morning salutation at this point, I would be able to lift her by her leg and she would maintain her stiffness. (Of course, I'll never do this, silly. I wouldn't IMAGINE interrupting the sacredness of her routine.)
Her faces contort with every stretch as well. Her lips purse out and flatten, like she is going to be giving a huge, sloppy kiss to a frog. Her chin tries to push past her back, making her double chin pop out. And when she is in morning warrior II or III , her chin goes up, her neck elongates and her eyebrows shoot up to the sky.
After we finish up with the stretching, I sidle up next to my little girl and she has her breakfast. Once she is halfway finished with her breakfast, the stage curtains raise up and sister is the star of a play. It starts with her simply looking up at me and smiling while nursing. Then I know the show is about to start!
Smiles are thrown around like confetti, each as different as the various colors of the little squares thrown in the air and fluttering beautifully out of vision only to have another quickly take its place. It's that toothless smile that gets me every time. She smiles so big that the gums come out -- that's when we know that sister means some serious business! The little corners of her eyes crinkle into tiny little crow's feet. When I was young, that was my staple of telling a real smile from a fake one, like the time I ran into a very attractive member of the opposing basketball team (his smile was true because the "corner of his eyes crinkled!"). Sister is full of realness in the morning!
And oh, the chatter that takes place in that golden hour... Each morning, her monologue is different, telling me of the amazing dreams that she had last night during her peaceful slumber next to Mama. She laughs at my jokes that I tell her in her own special language. She tells me things that she forgot to tell me from the day before, tattling on Munky & Bishop for bad things they did while I was at work. And I like to think that every morning during those conversations, she tells me that she loves me.
And as we know that while monologues can show versatility and range, it's the actions that make the performance ah-mazing! Sister has the moves of Michael Jackson (without the crotch-grabbing, of course). She dances away to an unknown melody playing in her mind. All the excitement in her body not being able to be contained that it oozes out of her legs and arms. She dances at sunrise to welcome the day. Sister is excited for the day!
During the week, my alarm goes off 30 minutes early. I rush around to get ready, feeding the dogs & cats, showering & blow drying my hair. In the back of my mind, I know that the earlier I can get done with my chores of the morning, the longer I have with my little Irish step dancer. These are the reasons why I live for the weekend. So these special moments are not rushed and crammed into 30 minutes. When you have the decision between 30 minutes of something precious or 60 minutes, what kind of a crazy person would ever chose 30 minutes?
When I was younger, I used to be a morning person. I used to rise with the sun to watch cartoons; later in life -- to complete my morning run; just before little lady arrived -- to just sit in a quiet house with a nice, hot cup of coffee. (Let's not even discuss what time I would get up on Christmas morning. I would tear open presents in the dark on Christmas morning if my parents would've let me.) There were periods in-between that mornings are not my cup of tea, when the nightlife took top billing. I now look forward to mornings again. On weekend mornings, when the little and I can slip downstairs without waking daddy and have some wonderful moments, listening to the birds announce the sun's arrival. I'm cradling her warm little body, breathing in her littleness, searing into my mind the smell, the feel, and the sounds of her.
I have been truly blessed to have such a cherished little soul that makes every day a finger-snapping, skipping kind of day.