I creep into my son’s room on Monday morning and gently break the news to him. “Honey, it’s time to get up and get ready to school.” I recognize the sound he makes. It sounds like a balloon letting all its air out. Or maybe more like a whoopee cushion being sat on very slowly. It’s the sound of a rapid deflation. It’s guttural, almost primal. It is the same sound my soul makes when the alarm goes off in the morning.
To put it simply, we are not morning people.
I encourage him to dress quickly as I run the bathtub. The only way to wake myself up in the morning is to sink into a mound of root beer scented bubble bath but I check back in with him repeatedly as the water creeps up in the tub until it’s ready for me. The groaning and moaning continues from beneath the pile of blankets on his bed, as if he were not waking up but actually dying a slow and painful death. I’m not sure you can actually die from going back to school but he was quite convincing that it was a risk.
He has his own way of showings his displeasure. He ends his words with an “a” sound, “Okay-a, momma.” He’s grunting passive-aggressively. It’s my fault for not waking him early enough today. He’s surly and displeased, trying ardently to convince me my requests for hair and teeth brushing are unreasonable. His hair will only get messy in gym class and his teeth will get dirty again at snack time. I have to laugh at his logic, but I understand where he’s coming from. I’m not cheerful either and definitely not before 10am and a strong coffee.
The first morning back after Christmas break is the hardest, though no morning is greeted with a smile. New beginnings can be painful, and it’s hard to see it as a beginning. It’s the end of warmth under comfy covers, the end of sweet dreams and the end of the holiday season. Standing at his doorway it’s hard to bring an end to his slumber but we both have places to be and people to become.
Maybe the people we are off to become are morning people. We just don’t know it yet.
That’s the only nice thing about morning, the way the day could turn into anything, and so could we. But if I have anything to say about it, we will become morning people with clean teeth, even if they are going to get dirty again with snacks.