I hope you enjoy this entry that was originally posted on my old blog in July of 2008. It was a real treat for me to revisit it and I’ve added a few thoughts from today as a post script at the end.
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My son Quinn has always been an early riser but this summer he’s taken it to a new level — up for the day by 5 a.m.
For the past several weeks I have been starting my days being angry at him and anyone else who happened to cross my path because I just don’t want to be on toddler duty at 5 a.m.
It’s not even that I want to sleep in. It’s just that I like to start my day slowly and quietly — two concepts that my two-year-old just doesn’t seem to get!
In my perfect world I would wake up between five and six and slip downstairs alone for a walk or some yoga, followed by a cup of tea and time to write in my journal. Then I would get breakfast ready for my loving children who would wander downstairs (fully dressed and in pleasant moods!) around 7:30.
And I have a feeling we’ll get there someday! (If Quinn follows in his sleepy-head sister’s footsteps.)
But in the meantime Quinn has been wide awake and clambering into our bed at 5 a.m. for several weeks now and I have been growing increasingly more annoyed — at him for being awake so early, and at John for somehow managing to sleep through the onslaught of exuberance.
Over the weekend I decided that I’ve had enough.
I don’t like waking up angry. I don’t like resenting my beautiful son. And I really, really need to figure out a way to have my smooth, peaceful morning that I desire so I’m not walking around in an angry, foggy haze all morning.
So I decided that no matter what the time or how I am awoken, I am going to choose to wake up in a pleasant mood, filled with gratitude and excitement for the coming day.
On Monday morning when not just Quinn — but also Lily, who was SO excited for her first day of camp that she just couldn’t sleep! — arrived bedside at 4:45, I offered to take them on an “animal walk” (a walk in the double stroller to look for dawn-loving critters).
With a couple of pieces of toast to munch on, full sippy cups and a camera, we set off!
The only critters we saw were birds, but that was enough to entertain the kids and give me some time to mentally run through the coming day.
Since then Quinn and I have taken two more early morning walks and I’m not sure who is enjoying it more!
Here are some photos from our recent adventures…
We came up over the hill this morning and our neighbor’s horses were at the fence waiting to greet us!
Then two swans entertained us.
“The waterfall is amazing, Mama. Waterfall makes Kin (Quinn) feel happy!”
Thank you Quinn, for inspiring your Mama to stretch out of her comfort zone. I love this special time that we’ve created together!
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July, 2010 update: What a difference two years makes. This summer Quinn is the official “sleepy head” of the family, often waking up a full hour (or more!) after the rest of us. True to form, he is still inspiring me to stretch out my comfort zone as we continue to explore ways to honor who he is and help him to express his boundless energy in ways that work for him and those around him. Looking back, I count this experience (of noticing and naming something that really was NOT working for me and finding one small way to bring it closer to alignment with what does work for all of us) as a major turning point in my mothering experience. And I hold these special morning walks with my son in a very special place in my Mama heart.