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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?