All of our children are in the house now.
Zoe is home from college…so when I hear a door open early in the morning, and the sound of padding feet, I can never be sure that it was Nate getting up earlier than I expected.
It could be anybody.
Now, the difference between one of the bigger kids getting up and Nate getting up is that when the big kids get up, it’s usually as temporary a thing as they can make it.
When they finish with their business, they always go back to sleep.
They don’t want to wake up early any more than I want them to wake up early.
They want to sleep.
When Nate gets up, it’s often a different thing.
Nate gets up with NEEDS.
Nate gets up to seek me out and find a reason to stay up.
Usually, it’s only some cuddling, maybe some juice…a cartoon…
His needs aren’t profound. He’s not an early morning demander.
No…that’s not the truth. He’s demanding as heck…he lets his needs be known without restraint. It changes the atmosphere to have him up with me.
It’s really not a big deal when he gets up, though…it just makes me feel like I missed my “window” somehow.
I missed that little chunk of quiet….the cars on the road outside the only noise in the house other than my typing…. and the fans… and the gentle whirring of the hard drive that I can hear if I really listen closely.
My window closed.
Now, Sparrow gets up early a lot of the time…and she has some NEEDS. She isn’t shy about voicing an opinion. She wants…and she wants it now…right now.
Jenny usually helps her with those needs….she’s not old enough yet to be pacified with a cup of apple juice.
I lived by myself for a bunch of years before I got married and we had children.
I lived in some pretty quiet places.
If I had heard other feet padding around, it would have been pretty terrifying.
It was just me…just me, all the time.
I suppose that I had a lot of open windows of opportunity that I didn’t take advantage of back then…but there was no one to blame except myself. There were no outside distractions.
It was just me.
Nobody closing windows…just me, sitting, feeling the breeze on my cheek, telling myself “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow….you’ve got plenty of time. Formulate a plan, work it out in your head…and maybe if the weather holds, tomorrow might be a good day to start…”
These windows that I didn’t act on were no different than one that was closed.
I don’t think that I planned very far ahead, sometimes.
I was like the grasshopper in that story of the grasshopper and the ants….not getting ready for winter because he was too busy playing.
Except, somehow, I don’t remember a lot of playing…just that I let opportunity pass by like there were always going to be a million tomorrows.
Now I listen for the sound of padding feet…and it’s an expected part of my morning.
My quiet disappears with the sound of a door opening.
With the sound of a door opening, my window closes.
Maybe that’s what I was waiting for all along?
I wouldn’t trade this for what was.
Quiet is overrated, anyway…who needs a peaceful, quiet morning when I can have Bob the Builder?