Slow mornings. This is one of things I savor most about being able to stay home with my boys right now. Some mornings can be chaotic, but generally I have the gift of being able to begin each day with a string of unhurried moments, each providing me an opportunity to really connect with my children.
This morning, Everett came downstairs with his bear Smoky wedged under the crook of his arm and a pile of books balancing in his little hands. I had but a minute to pour a cup of hot coffee before Louie was plodding down the stairs to join the wake-up-and-read party too. There are many mornings when my youngest can’t function until he raises his blood sugar with a handful of dry cereal or nuts. Often times, putting something in his belly is the very first order of business for the day. However, this morning he was game to postpone breakfast a half hour and fill up with words instead.
While Louie and I snuggled on the couch and prepared to read, Everett was busy in the kitchen at the art table. As I mentioned in earlier posts, he is my quirky divergent thinker. Within five minutes, he came in with the pile of books and began to explain the agenda for our reading session. He had taken a sheet of heart stickers and strategically mounted different numbers and colors of the stickers on to the covers of the books. “This is a code,” he explained. “This one with two blue hearts means it is a silly book. And the one with one green heart means it is a tricky book. And then this one, Mommy…this one with the four red hearts is a sweet one.” I laughed out loud. He definitely attached the correct mood to all of the books he chose.
I started to feel the rush of the day ahead creep in as I realized he had cataloged six books of considerable length for our morning read. “I think we will just read two of these boys and then we better eat breakfast and get dressed,” I said. I was confronted with a chorus of “Noooo.” and “Pleeeaasse.” So I relented and remembered that we have the luxury of embracing these slow mornings. If we are five minutes late to preschool, there are no tardy slips or disparaging glances. If we have to rush through breakfast a little bit or throw on the same jeans and T-shirt we wore yesterday, no one will know the difference.
The rest of the day was filled with its fair share of tantrums, brother combat sessions, and exasperated frustrated mama sighs. However, I feel grateful that I could start the day off slow with my boys nestled on the couch on either side of me. Our day could begin with snuggles and giggles and book after book after book. I know that our days of slow mornings are numbered. When Everett starts kindergarten in the fall, we will have to be out of the house over an hour earlier than we do now. There probably won’t be time for six color-coded books and pre-reading discussions about the feelings associated with each, but I still hope to be deliberate about beginning the day with these connection moments.