Saturday, February 1

first things first

My eyes blink open in the dark mere seconds before the chorus starts from his bedroom. Did I hear him in my sleep? Or did my spidey-mommy-sense anticipate his waking? Before I can check the time--5:15am, 5:45am, past 6am if I'm lucky--I hear "Mama where ARE you?" echo across the hall. I pause. Plant my reluctant feet on the cold ground. Hand on my heart. There deep breaths. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I live with ease.

Where am I? Here, always. Rising from the warm, tousled bed where my love still snores. Padding across the black hallway and opening his door, greeting his full-on embrace of the new day. When he wakes from a nap he's groggy, cranky, slow to open to the world. In the morning he races out, all eagerness and messy bedhead. I trail after him, brushing the night from my face.

If I'm lucky I have a chance to put on the kettle, maybe even pour my cup of hot water and lemon before the baby begins to warble and coo. (I used to start straight with coffee. My nerves can't take it. I have to earn my caffeine with hydration and protein. It's a bum deal.) I scoop him up--all smiles--from his little crib, and we snuggle in the dark bedroom, in the pale celery-green chair, worn to threads, where I nursed both my babes. He takes the breast. Often these days I  haven't seen or heard him for twelve hours. Not yet nine months and he needs me less and less. Let this time stretch. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be safe. May you live with ease.

There will come a day when it will be reasonable to rise before they do. The early darkness and silence will be mine and I will share it with a warm cup and an empty page. That day isn't here yet. In fact, my mornings are a buzz and a blur. But if I can slow down a little to the pace of the breath, and notice the spaces between the breaths, I can find little pockets of peace in those first few minutes, and for the briefest moment make a home for myself there. It can be enough, if I choose for it to be.

Metta--or lovingkindness--meditation phrases adapted from Sylvia Boorstein, as written in Dani Shapiro's memoir, Devotion.

Playing along with WriteAlm's February Prompt-A-Day.