The early bird, revised

Morning has always been my favorite time of day. I'm a morning person by nature and though you have every right to hate me for this, I've always thought it was a good, even fun, thing. For most of my life, I've woken up early, easily and quickly; my parents say that, as a baby, I would go from dead asleep to standing upright and jumping up and down in my crib in two seconds flat.

In college, I always woke up early and would often head to the library when it opened (Party animal!). I loved the quiet, the cool air, the empty spaces. Every soft loveseat and neatly lined-up chair seemed ready and ripe for my picking.

As an adult, before I had kids, I still woke up early. My favorite days were when I worked in the evenings. I would wake up early, without an alarm clock, and have several hours to read the newspaper or my book, drink tea, and pad around the house in my bathrobe watching the birds search for food outside my windows. I usually headed out to a dance class in mid-morning, then rehearsal, then a shift teaching Pilates or massaging wealthy ladies with necks stiff from lifting their Louis Vuitton luggage off the baggage carousel.

On other days, I worked early, teaching Pilates or giving massages to people before they headed off to work. On those days, I did need an alarm clock, as waking up at 4:30 am is not what even I consider a reasonable morning hour. But I still woke up quickly and came to enjoy the feeling of my work day being over by noon.

Now, of course, I have a new reason (actually TWO new reasons) for getting up early.

Most days, I am startled awake by E crying desperately in her crib. Jumping up while still half asleep, I land in a stiff crouch like an arthritic ninja. I wrap my bathrobe around me and stumble to her room to pick her up and nestle into the glider for a nursing session. She is grumpy when she wakes up but usually finds her smile half way through nursing. As her belly fills, her face softens, the wrinkles on her forehead disappear and her eyes open a few millimeters more to gaze up at me as if she's just noticed my arrival.

Oh hi
, she seems to say, GOOD MORNING.

"Good morning Ellie," I always say as I kiss her cheek, its softness on my lips bringing me fully awake, fully present. "Here's to a beautiful day."


Hillary said...

Oh your girls are just beautiful and silly and perfect!

From another morning person: Amen.

KG said...

A note to CBHM and her readers:

Yes, I did it. I trained your girls to be even earlier risers than you are. It is true, I never would have made it to an 8am dance class on time our senior year without you, but really, some revenge was in order:

This is how CBHM woke me up on MANY occasions when we were in college:

(creeping into my room, whispering) "Way up in the sky/the big birdies fly/while down in their nests/the little birds rest/*shhh they're sleeping*/

(Then, POUNCING on my bed and jumping vigorously up and down): "THE BRIGHT SUN COMES UP!!!!/THE DEW GOES AWAY!!!!! (pound on each word for emphasis)/ GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING THE LITTLE BIRDS SAY!!!!"

Why is she still alive today? What can I say? The girl makes a mean quesadilla.

artemisia said...

Oh, girls!

I would give darn near ANYTHING to become a morning person. Really.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

KG: hahahaha! I still sing that song and ZOE KNOWS IT NOW. She sang it to CG on his birthday (at 7 am) not really understanding that this was not exactly the birthday present he was hoping for.

Marie Green said...

I used to be a morning person too, but marrying an extreme night owl has altered my sleep patterns, as the only time I see him is late at night. On days when I do rise early, though, I feel the best.

Party of 5 said...


Amy said...

I am a morning person too! My husband is not. Which used to drive me crazy. My daughter is like my husband. She puts off waking up as long as she can. She'll wake up, nurse fall back asleep and repeat an hour later. But when she finally wakes and her eyes brighten and she smiles and giggles and wants to "see the doggies" or go "outsise" it is pure joy. Funny how this trait annoyed me in my husband but I find it positively charming in my daughter.

GratefulTwinMom said...

I find it fascinating that the MOMs are morning people, but the DADs are not, hmmmmm. Maybe motherhood trains us to wake, all alert, early and ready to go, even if we have been morning people before; it seems to be even easier as a mom. I love the quiet in the morning. Twins yell at each other a lot, so if I can get some time before they wake up yea. I can hear the birds as I read this....

Whimsy said...

I do believe I spy a GIRL GENIUS in that picture of E. Fantastic.

And oh my, I wish I was a morning person, but I'm not. However, I'm making a passable attempt at faking it.

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