Stop. Breathe. Be Thankful.

A Monday morning, like so many others.  

We were woken by two children in the night. One whose whispers were so soft that I don't think we really ever knew what the problem was, she was just invited in the bed so we could hopefully get some sleep.

At one point I was aware of my husband crawling around on the floor, searching with his cellphone flashlight for a dropped bunny. The item was found, the child comforted, sleep was attempted again.

Some while later another child, this one complaining of a bad dream, something about walls crashing in on him. He asked if he could read for a few minutes, I agreed, "five minutes only, then the light goes off". Books had to be searched for in the dark living room, and just the right one chosen. I reminded again, five minutes only.  

I had set my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual. I wanted 15 extra minutes with my coffee and the morning silence before I switched into school day morning mode. I got up to the sound of pouring rain out my open window, and spotted a light under a door. He was awake. He eventually confessed that hadn't ever turned it off, and had been awake the three hours since he was given that five minutes. I turned off the light and begged him to close his eyes for just a little longer. 

I did get my coffee and the quiet of the living room for a few minutes. But it wasn't the same. I wasn't alone, because I knew he was awake and waiting for me. My morning solitude that I'd given up precious sleep for was taken from me, and I was irritated.  

Other things that seem to only happen on a Monday followed...

A child came up crying because her alarm hadn't gone off, I sent her back to get dressed.

She came back a few minutes later wearing only underwear, because the exact pair of purple leggings she needed weren't in her drawer.

Another child had to be sent back and reminded to put on clean underwear.

Another one tried to pretend to still be asleep.

One undid the braids I had so carefully done yesterday with the intention of them lasting for a couple of days.

One spilled milk all over the table.

They all have to be reminded (or begged) over and over again to please just be quiet and eat so we won't be late.

Lunches are dropped while being packed up.

Realizations that homework was not done.

The perfect pair of shoes can't be found...

It goes on. 

And then, as we are already late, and the voice is getting louder and louder ("PUT ON YOUR SHOES!"), somebody says, "mom, you gotta come see this rainbow". I decline. "Come ON you guys. We are LATE!"

My husband pokes his head back in the door, "no, this one you really should see."


There it was. Time stopped. I looked at it and took a deep breath. I don't think I had even noticed that it had stopped raining. 

Children are noticers.

We tend to grow out of that instinct. Or at least we grow into an instinct that is trying to be so busy that we shove the noticing to the back. But if somebody reminds me to pause, to look around, to breathe, sometimes I can find it again. 

Stop. Breathe. Be thankful for this day.  

I helped zip backpacks. I refilled my coffee. I put the milk away and petted the cat. I laced up my walking shoes. I realized that it really doesn't matter if we get there a minute or two after the bell rings.  

Stop. Breathe. Be thankful for this day.  

I got in the car and asked them if they'd like me to drop off or walk them in.  

Stop. Breathe. Be thankful for this day.  

I repeated this to myself over and over again on my walk. 

Stop. Breathe. Be thankful for this day.