This morning the boys were noisy. Last night’s electrical storms made our clocks blink nonsense, so I had to reach for my phone to see if it was time to be angry or happy to see them.
They were clear.
Max urged Jack to go to our room: Go ask Mommy or Daddy. Mommy, ask Mommy.
Thud, thud, thud. His soft pads hitting the wood floor. Jack appeared at my head and I feigned surprise.
I have to go potty, he smiled.
Jack hasn’t mastered climbing onto the toilet himself or pulling down his pants. We really should dig out the small stool we used to keep in the bathroom before we got the larger steps. The steps work best for reaching the sink, but are too tall to reach the toilet. It’s a small bathroom, so we really don’t have space for both stools. For now, this is the price we pay for a potty-trained toddler.
I got up, relieved that Jack was relieving himself before breakfast without a fight.
Max came down from his bunk bed with a shy look across his face until I said, Good morning. That is the cue for a hug and kiss and means he will not be in trouble for getting up too soon. Luckily, he was happy to be the first four-year old to use the toilet this morning, rather than the begrudged second boy to use it. These days they fight for first all the time. That and the middle, meaning one brother takes a prime spot on a chair while pushing the other off to the bare edge. These mini-battles erupt all the time, except when they don’t, and our home is given a moment of unexpected tranquility.
The boys left the bathroom towards the dining room and I stopped back in my bedroom for a bra. I was going to let Andres sleep, but the dog distracted the boys from their quest for food, so I spotted a delicious opportunity. I climbed back into bed and said, Let’s cuddle, knowing it would end badly. I didn’t care. I wrapped myself in my husband’s arms and positioned my head so that the sunbeam peeping in from the gap between our black-out curtains would hit my closed eyes.
Human beings are programmed to wake to light. The sun activates hormones to release in our bodies and sleep shrugs off our shoulders effortlessly. Waking up in a darkness means a slow, grumpy start to the day. My head is full of all kinds of facts like this.
Fifteen seconds later, the pitter-patter of eight feet pounded towards us. The soft, springy pads of my sons’ kissable baby feet were almost drowned out by four eager paws hitting the wood floor. Max must have figured out the gate to let the dog out.
Listen: our home is small. They were close and getting closer. But in those brief seconds, as those eight feet scurried happily towards us, certain to break the spell, I had time to ponder life.
The amount of life crashing towards us was bigger than the sunshine.
Brighter than sunlight.
I am awake.