My mornings begin with a tiny gesture, a small offering left on the table outside our bedroom: a mug of hot coffee.
This sounds weird, I know.
Lately, my mornings have been beginning earlier than I would have ever contemplated. I'm not an early bird by any stretch. Too early, I even feel slightly ill. But I have learned to take my opportunities where I can these days, and early mornings can belong to me. Before little man, I would get up, not too early mind you, and wake up slowly, reading the interwebs, all the blogs, news, while slowly sipping my coffee and rejoining the world again. I haven't had that for a while. Quite a while. And I kind of miss a little morning time to myself. So, when my husband gets up for work, I get up too. Kind of, since I don't actually get out of bed.
That makes me sound lazy, that I stay there. But W. has usually wormed his way in by that point, snugged down between us. I know there are many opinions on this, but for us, it works. He wakes often, trapped against the side of his crib, unable to turn over to the left due to his weaknesses on one side of his body. It has to be scary, to awaken in the dark, alone, unable to move. During the day, he compensates for this. He's like an acrobat really, for all his limited mobility. He has ingeniously devised his own system of movement, graceful and effective. But, eventually, he winds up with us. Sleep is important, any way that you can get it. Yet that means in the mornings I am tethered, as I have not managed to move him back to his bed without waking him. He always knows.
So I use this time instead, that I am awake and he is asleep. The room slowly grows brighter and sunnier, following that pre-dawn grayness, tinged with pinks and yellows. There is usually some book or another next to me. I hear a slight clink as my husband sets a coffee down on the table outside our room. Sometimes I hear him quietly making his way down the hall, before the clink. Other times I hear nothing until I hear the sound of the front door closing as he leaves. Those mornings I slip out from under the covers, bare feet on the cool wooden floors, everything cool now really, these early spring mornings, and open the door just a crack and spot my gift right there, waiting for me. I tiptoe back, making sure not to wake W. and plan and read and dream and yes, read the internet too, while I wait for him to wake.
It's kind of like a secret, but not.