I have never been a person who likes to wake up early. My husband rises regularly, every single day, before 6:30 am. He’s got an amazing internal clock that lets him know when to get up whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. He’s up just before his alarm and wakes brightly, ready to tackle the day. He doesn’t even drink coffee. He’s early for school, early for the sports practices he has to run on the weekends, early for life.
Our morning experiences could not be more different. I am always surprised by the shrill beep beep beep of the alarm, no matter how much sleep I get. I am a perpetual snooze-hitter: in my previous life I would snooze for hours in the morning, lounging in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, waiting for my husband to bring me coffee on his way home from soccer practice or basketball practice or baseball practice or whatever practice took him out of the house at an unconscionably early hour.
I say my previous life because I cannot, at this moment, remember the last time I slept past 7:00. This morning I was up at 5:00. What could compel me, a self-proclaimed sleep-aholic to be up at that indecent hour?
A baby. A beautiful, smiley, wonderful baby. Who takes after her father.
I am a lucky mother; I know that. I am lucky because I have a baby, when so many women struggle with fertility issues. I am lucky that she is healthy, when so many mothers worry about their children’s health. I am lucky that she is happy. I am lucky that she has been sleeping through the night since November, when she was just seven weeks old.
When my reading keeps me up into the wee hours of the morning (like it did last night), or I stay up too late watching the Oscars (like the night before), or even when I just stay up staring out the window, 5:00 comes so early.
In the early hours of the morning, when the house is still and dark, I try to remember that I will miss these days. When she’s eight and doesn’t want to cuddle on the couch watching the news, or when she’s a teenager and insists on slamming doors and sleeping until 1:00, I will miss mornings like today, when I picked her up out of her crib and she greeted me with a smile and a giggle. When we blew raspberries at each other as the sun rose. When she fell back to sleep before I even left for work.
But today, as I struggle through a long day, 5:00 sure seems early.