I lay in bed. It’s still dark. I glance at the clock and scowl when I see “5:48” glaring back at me.
Despite my inner protestations, the day has begun.
I get up. Slowly. My limbs ache a little from my run last night. I mumble to myself that my 34-year old body is too young to be creaky already.
I shower. I dry my hair. I get dressed. I hear my 3 year old get out of bed and walk down the hall.
I watch her look up at me, squinting into the light, hair messy and face adorned with lines from her pillow. She looks beautiful.
“I want cereal.”
Good morning to you too, my love.
I get her cereal. The milk is empty. I refill the bag. I pour the near-empty cereal into her bowl. She notices the crumbs at the bottom of the bag fall into her bowl. She protests. Loudly. She doesn’t like cereal crumbs.
I fish out the crumbs and get a new box of cereal. I watch her closely as I pour the new cereal, hoping this will suffice. It is satisfactory.
I make a cup of coffee. Empty the dishwasher. Have a quick slice of toast. Take a sip of coffee. I hear the baby wake up.
I go get her, change her diaper, get her dressed, bring her into the kitchen. Take another sip of coffee.
I warm up some milk for the baby. Get her a banana. Some blackberries. I hope she still likes blackberries today.
I watch the baby eat while I try to get the 3 year old dressed. I pack bags. I remember I need to brush my teeth. Must wear socks. I take another sip of coffee and scowl again at the post-teeth-brushed taste. Fight with the toddler to pee before we leave. Attempt to make a game out of brushing her teeth. Just to get out the door.
Ah, my mornings. Hectic is a good way to describe them.
By the time I get to work (which is only 3 days a week right now, thank goodness), I just want to sit in front of the computer and read my Twitter feed with a hot cup of coffee in front of me.
I feel like my brain is nowhere near ready to start working yet. But I’ve been up for 4 hours already.
This is hard.
And yet – at the same time – I remember that video I watched on YouTube last week. The one with the mother reading her memoir. Talking about her experiences with her two kids, through every stage.
I remember her words. “You think the life you have right now is the only life there is.”
Yes. It really feels that way.
And then, when I worry to myself that I don’t have enough ‘me’ time, that my life is all about cleaning, dressing, feeding my little human beings, I pause.
Because when I pause, I remember what she said. What that Mom – just like any of us Moms – said.
It took her a while, but she learned to appreciate the simple gift. The gift of an ordinary day.
And then I look at my daughters. I touch their soft faces. I realize that eating a bowl of cereal together isn’t just breakfast. It’s a moment. It’s a gift.
Even when they’re mad, grouchy, freaking out, being their highly emotional toddler selves. It’s a gift.
I’m the first to admit that it can be hard for us to see that in the middle of a meltdown. But I also know that one day, I'll be sitting at this big table in this big, empty kitchen, eating my cereal alone. And I know how lucky I am to have every, single, simple moment with them.
So today, and every other day, I try to remember to enjoy.
Enjoy this ordinary day.