March 16, 2009
The popping sound of the light on my alarm coming on startles me from a sound sleep. I quickly smack the button before the alarm starts to jangle. Every morning my hand races to beat that alarm from sounding the start of another day. 5:30 am. An unholy hour to rise if there ever was one. I hate having to get up this early, but it does give me one of my favorite moments of the day. I will lie here in silence and savor it for a few minutes before I put my feet on the floor and start the regular churn.
I am a slow riser. Today will be no different. Each day when I first awake there is a little part of me, the eternal optimist, that thinks today might just be the day I’m a morning person. That I will bounce out of bed and grab onto the morning with enthusiasm and speed. Today is not that day I realize with no real disappointment. The realist in me knows it will probably never happen. A picture of Ralphie from A Christmas Story crosses my mind and I hear him say, “Skunked again.” I smile at the movie reference and wait for my thoughts to gather, for while my feet are slow to move at this hour, my mind is already shifting gears and building speed. The thoughts ping around like a rubber ball. They are hard to control. Will I be on time to work today? Is Teen Angel feeling better? Oh, she needs lunch money. Gotta’ write a check before I leave the house. Dang. I should have cleaned my shoes last night. What do I need to accomplish at work today?
I lie perfectly still in the dark and listen. I listen closely for signs that all is the same as when I drifted off to sleep, Hubby is next to me, his warm leg touching mine. The rhythm of his breathing is steady. I wonder for a brief moment what this time of the day will be like if he dies before me, and I become an old widow woman alone in this king sized bed. Where did THAT come from? That thought is too uncomfortable, and I quickly brush it aside. Mama crosses my mind. I should call her, I think. I make a mental note not to wait for her to call me. There is a rustling at the foot of the bed, and the dog is repositioning himself. The alarm has awakened him, but like me, he is in no hurry to move. I listen for his breathing, and smile. It is in synch with Hubby’s. I think about how much joy that little miniature schnauzer has brought to us and surmise that most folks who don’t want a dog in their bed have probably never slept with a dog. I smile at how cozy the three of us are in our little cocoon. Off in the distance, I hear the crow of a rooster from the next road. It’s that quiet in the house. A few more weeks, and we’ll be able to hear the light low roar of racecars at the racetrack. As the crow flies it’s not that far from our house, but we don’t notice it until we go to bed. What is that? An indiscernible noise. Something new? Oh, just the heat kicking on. Frick. When is spring going to come and stay? If I have to wear a coat one more time I’ll scream. I picture the daffodils in the backyard and hold onto the visual for as long as possible. Just a few more days, Hula. Just a few more days and spring will be here.
I’m still sleepy. I stayed up too late last night. It was Bunco night with girlfriends. I giggle to myself. A Bunco hangover. Is there any such thing if there were no drinks involved? I close my eyes again, replaying some of the fun from the night before and willing my body to fight the urge to drift back to delicious sleep. The urge is strong. I could easily go back to sleep. I spring my eyes open to keep that from happening and try to focus on the sounds again. I listen really hard for Teen Angel in the next room. I rarely hear her breathing in there, but sometimes she moves in the bed, reassuring me that she’s okay. Does a mother ever quit imagining that bad things can happen to our children if we close our eyes or turn our back for just a moment? I think not. I hear the groan of her mattress as she moves. She’s fine. Good. She coughs. Hmm. Her cold doesn’t sound much better than it did last night. I decide to give it two more days, and if she’s not significantly better by then to take her to the doctor. Hubby has to take Papa T. to the doctor today. Hope that goes well. It’s always an adventure now when they go to the doctor. You never know how lucid Papa T. will be. I say a quick prayer that it’s a good day. That Papa T. is having a sharp day, and behaves himself for Hubby. I drift to my alcoholic friend and wonder if she had a sober night last night. Probably not. I remind myself that I cannot fret over it. I say a quick prayer for her too, turn that worry over to God, as best I can anyway, and move on before my heart starts to ache for her. I just can’t go there this morning. It’s too early to start that kind of worrying.
I finally move, stretching my arms and legs. My left heel is a little sore. Crap. I hope the tendonitis isn’t flaring up again. I really am going to get old, aren’t I? I tell myself I won’t let it happen without a fight. I close my eyes one more time to drink in the quiet sounds of my family, snoozing in the dark. Uninterrupted sounds of peace and contentment. It’s so soothing. The dog stretches. He’s starting to come alive. His bladder must be calling to him, too. It’s probably about time for the two of us to venture outside for his morning walk. I glance at the clock to check the time. Yep. 5:45AM. I’ve spent fifteen minutes trying to rise and shine. A morning person would consider that wasted time. I smile at the thought that it was time well spent, and I slowly slide my feet to the floor to stand and greet the day.
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