In the quiet of morning, a crow in the trees behind the house wakes me five minutes before the alarm goes off.
I reach, as quietly as possible, willing my arm to stretch just enough to turn off the offensive sound that will shatter the morning silence like a lightbulb hitting the floor. Successfully dodging the piercings of the oldest clock-radio known to man, I lie back and try very, very hard not to let morning fogginess encroach on my awareness.
The peacefully sleeping child beside me, up several times in the night teething, crying, hungry, and clinging, is snoring.
You wouldn’t know how upset he was, with the angelic look to his face, amiss to the red-faced-tear-streaked squawking anomaly of only a few hours before. The soft, hiccupping misery as he clung to my lap at 2 AM, Advil applied and the rocking chair in full swing, is a distant memory.
The air blows in through the open window, and I catch a scent of tomato plants, dew, and Basil. Next door, wind chimes are tinkling. I breathe in, and breathe out. Calmness before I start my day is rare, and I relish in it. For the moment I have no responsibility, no requirements other than to breathe, to listen, to think what I want to think.
One sleepy eye opens, then the other. He looks at me, calm blue eyes, small pursed lips, and a shock of blonde hair tousled from insiting on sleeping with his head crammed into my armpit. Little hands come out to poke at my nose, my lips, and then a silly smile breaks open. He rises to his knees, and proceeds to try and crawl off the tall, King-sized bed as fast as he can before I catch him and tickle him to abandoned giggles.
It is morning, he is happy, and ready to face the day. Me, I am still tired, still bedraggled, still wishing it was only 4 Am and I could sleep more. But his excitement is infectious.
I think this is how mothers get through sleep deprivation. They draw on their children’s energy by osmosis. They infuse their spirit with the wonderment that each day brings.