5 am. 5 am on a sunday and my eyes fly open, all at once woken by the happiest bloodcurdling scream you've ever heard. oh no. cries this early in the morning, those are easy. those require only a quick snuggle and some back scratches and the boy is back to sleep, his mama, too. but happy, chirping noises? oh no, oh no no no. those are the sounds of a boy who is wide awake and ready to play, calling to me to come to him. i can already see the mess of blankets and animals on the floor beside his crib, clearly illustrating the path he walked around the perimeter of his crib as he threw them over one by one.
sigh. there goes one more hour of sleep i could have had before work (i think any mothers reading will appreciate most just how much sleep that is at this stage). ah well. i was in bed before 2130, something that probably hasn't happened since i was, i don't know, 8 years old. on a saturday, mind you. god, i'm getting old. but then 14 hour shifts will age you like that.
i get up, go to my son, and find the situation is even worse than i feared. this little boy is now crawling around the room like a mad man, eyes wild, full speed ahead with no apparent destination. simply for the thrill of it. happily shrieking at the sheer joy of being awake for another day. i guess.
i pour my coffee. think, at least i have extra time to get ready and hey, i can even enjoy my coffee! yet another crazy thought: i will be on time to work! no, i think... i'm going to be early to work. i smile, sipping my coffee, picturing just how pleased the night shift will be to see me 15 minutes early (spoiler alert: i was my usual 10 minutes late).
i'm not as tired as i think i should be. i already know i will be walking into a disastrous, long, hellish day of work (we are currently experiencing being under-staffed and over-populated with patients), but i don't think of that. i sit, soaking in the peace and slowness of an empty hour: the world still sleeping with no obligations on their sunday, knowing i will have the pleasure of driving an empty highway with the sun rising, no pressure yet to get ready. so says the same person who is chronically 10 minutes late.
i am happy to sneak some time in with my little one. our early mornings usually consist of me scooping a still-sleeping babe out of his crib, 10 minutes before i should leave because i feel guilty waking him every time and want him to get every last minute of sleep he can. i change his diaper and dress him as he struggles to stay asleep, eventually fails, and groggily accepts part of a bottle. before he throws it across the room in protest at becoming fully awake, spraying himself and the carpet along the way. there's a few snuggles, some quick kisses, and he's off to his sitter, i to work.
as i finish my coffee and check the time, i see it's already my usual waking time. drat! there goes the extra time to get ready! just like that, i'm right back to my usual rushed routine. i scramble to pull my scrubs on, jam my feet into my shoes, smear some foundation over the red blotches and dark circles of my tired skin. i yank my hair up, and... where the heck is my brush??? i stalk around the house, scanning for where i could have misplaced the thing. aidric gives a little happy gurgle. i stop to smile at him, crouching near the couch. so innocent and joyful, smiling with his still-gooey, no-teeth mouth, round cheeks shining with drool. aha, there it is. just behind him, behind the couch. his favorite crawl space. a land of misplaced toys, my dirty socks he's snuck to chew, and diaper boxes he pushes over to stand on, to be so tall he can pop over the back of the couch with a yank of your hair and a burst of giggles.
finding that brush behind the couch hit me right in my mother heart. i could just picture adiric's mischievous journey: his glee at reaching something he is not supposed to have; making his quick getaway, crawling with brush tucked under one hand; stowing away to his secret land of hoarding; finally, undoubtedly slobbering all over the handle, savoring his prize, before discarding it in pursuit of his next treasure.
he doesn't know it yet, but his very being makes this old, hard life so much more beautiful. i feel so grateful to have not found my brush in its same old place on my counter. instead i was taken on a scavenger hunt, given a mental movie of my little, happy boy in the process. he's effortlessly interjected joy into my otherwise long, mundane, hard day.
these moments of motherhood are the reason it breaks our heart to watch our babies grow. i am going to savor the mornings i hunt for my slobbered-on things. all too soon, i will again be wakened by a piercing, depressing alarm clock. i will get ready slowly, no need to dress a second person, and be on time again. i will find my things, dry, in their rightful places right where i left them. and i'll smile, remembering and wishing for the time i had a little boy at my feet smiling up at me, just happy to be awake for another day.
shoot. now i've made myself cry.