Friday, July 10, 2009

The New Ritual

A month ago or so, the boys started a new thing. Actually, it is something they have always done, but it is now in a new context. We shall call it the Early Waking Habit. When I say early, I am talking about 530 or 6oo a.m. They have always been early wakers but back in crib days they would usually go back to sleep, or at least not terribly bother each other. Now, with our switch to 'big boy' beds things have taken a turn and not for the better.

So, a month or two ago, we would get the early waker yodeling or crying or running around the room in a bit of a tear, inevitably waking his peacefully sleeping brother to join in the raucous. We tried leaving them in there to see if they would settle. Nope, once awake these kids are awake. We tried going in to lay down with them and cuddle them back to sleep. Marginally successful at times, but not usually. Then we gave up and I would lay in bed, listening to them and feel a little bonkers realizing it was way too early to let them out of the room to start our day.

After a few unbearable days of this, one morning, at 600 or so, I opened the door, grabbed their blankies and some cereal bowls sans milk, loaded them in the BOB and leashed up the Meesh.
A New Ritual
A New Ritual

And we were off. I could not stand laying there, I knew I would get nothing done that early in the morning around the house, and I knew Mishka had been sorely missing her long walks. And you know what? It worked like a charm. For all of us.

A New Ritual
A New Ritual

When the boys were born, I was a huge walker. 3 or 4 miles with Meesh before the pregnancy laid me out, 3 or 4 miles with them until they protested the BOB. Those walking days slipped away as they became more mobile. Our walks to the park do not really count, the distance is not one I count as exercise. I always meant to get up early and take Mishka for an early morning walk but never delivered.

Now, I have fallen easily back into the rhythm and the routes we once took every day. There are some wicked hills in our neighborhood, if I am feeling vigorous we charge those. If not we can amble up a shallow grade, find birds and sprinklers and school buses to chat about. Sometimes we are quiet, sometimes we all talk at once. The only walkers out are the serious ones. There are no cars for the most part, it is calm and cool, that early summer morning cool that feels like a blessing before the heat of the day shines through.

A New Ritual

We steal away down the trail, watching the tiny birds flee Mishka's approach, we see dew droplets on delicate grass, I run with the BOB to hear them laugh and squee.
A New Ritual

Contained, they are content for once to watch the world pass them by, to be observers, not quiet but still. And I feel alive. Invigorated. Sweaty and working.
A New Ritual

I have missed those walks, never really knew how to fit them back into a life so full right now. In a way, their Early Waking Habit has become a blessing and on the days they do sleep later I find myself a little disappointed that we will not be welcoming the morning sun as a quartet walking down all my familiar streets.
A New Ritual

I am sure as the days get shorter and the morning sun comes later, they will return to a reasonable hour of waking. For now, I like this blessing disguised as challenge. My body needs it, Mishka needs and some part of my soul that was feeling a bit weary needs it too. Thank god for new rituals.

Gotta love the shoeless bed head look in the above photos. Good thing there are not too many other walkers out when the kids are all disheveled. Still darn cute though, right?


LauraC said...

I love it! You are so inspiring!

We had early morning wakeups for awhile there too (what is up with 2 year olds??) and I am not ashamed to admit we would take the early waker (Alex) and go downstairs. Turn on tv, snooze on couch while he snuggled and watched tv.

Now we have to wake them at 7!

brook said...

you rock!! i love your blog. i can relate, just substitute kitties for kids. although not the same, they have been waking me at 5:3 or 6a, and i have found that time so awesome!! walks, work, knitting..... yes! and what looks like preparation for when i have kids!

jillian said...

You are such a good momma!

Anonymous said...

Love this. I've been walking the last few mornings, too, and it's SO NICE to get my wiggles out that way.

Also: a big fat YES to the drinking. Maybe one day I'll find myself out your way and we can find a bartender to hook us up.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Funny how dogs and children drag us kicking and screaming back to the things we truly love to do. Enjoy your walks. I have been doing a few myself - though not yet at 6 am!

Preeti said...

I love how you share about your life with the boys and how you work things out to make everything enjoyable. Morning walks are the best, enjoy:)