Last night, before bed, Shaya reiterated his desire to be awakened by 8 today.
“You’ll get up early, you’ll write a blog, and I want time when it’s just you and me,” said my 9-year-old.
Yes. That simple.
The others wanted a wake-up call at 8:30. Well, really, Eliana wanted her iPhone in her room to wake her on her own, but I eliminated that idea. Phones in the kitchen overnight, no late-night texting or Internet searching for my kids.
And so it is left to me to wake them so they have enough time to dress, wash up, eat, and then we’ll go for a morning workout altogether before they leave for the afternoon with their dad and I head to a faculty meeting at one of the colleges where I am teaching this fall.
I’m feeling melancholy this morning. Summer is at its end, and my eyes fluttered open in the growing light with that clear knowledge. This silence, this ease, it will end in a little more than a week. And we will plunge back into the routine of schedules and early mornings, lunches made and waiting by the back door, children tired after a long day amid friends and teachers, with piles of homework to keep them going into the night.
This has been a unique summer, one without childcare for my children, an experiment of sorts. With my eldest at 13, it didn’t feel quite right to hire a babysitter. And yet, they are unable to drive, not quite near the age of adulthood that would help me rest in the idea of leaving them at home alone all day.
Luckily, I work for myself and so I’ve been able to shuttle work into neat compartments and tight time frames so that I can have pockets of time with these wonderful children while they still want to be with me. As we head back into the school year, I am heading toward a quiet house, empty of all but myself, the work ever-present in front of me, more time than I know what to do with.
Last night, I said to Dan, “This summer I’ve achieved a balance. I don’t want to get back into that always-running mode.”
I surprised even myself. Balance? Who, me? Really? Well, that’s just great! Now, what is the secret formula, so I can keep that going.
This morning, troubled in the gray light of the early morning, before anyone else trod the same floor as me, I pulled angel cards. A silly superstition, perhaps, but the incense was lit and a candle waved gently in the coming morning.
My three results: Crown Chakra, Cut Your Cords, If You Get Nervous Focus On Service.
The message was to listen to my ideas because they are my unique insights that will lead me to my fulfilled life. Ask into the open space how I can make a difference in the world. And let go of past relationships that weigh me down. Just let them go.
It’s good advice for an average Thursday morning. The waves of emotion that carry us through a month take on this realm of unpredictability. Though we have a schedule set forth, and everything written in to its time slot, what we forget to make time for is the possibility of being.
And this summer has been dedicated to that.
Although I have certainly had my fill of annoyance by being around these lovely children day in and day out, for the most part, I have treasured the extra opportunities to pull them close, to lean in, to laugh, to sit so close on the sofa as if we cannot separate. The return to school just feels like a vacuum sucking us all in different directions.
Shaya came down quietly at 7:52 a.m., carrying his panda and his pale green blanket with the frogs on it, walking as if on air straight to me. He climbed into my lap. I leaned in to smell his skin, and he arched his neck back toward me.
Had this been a school day, we would already be on the road, taking him to school. I would have wakened him an hour earlier, in the still-dark, his trusting sleeping body angled in annoyance at having to open his eyes and begin the day before he was ready. The day would have started on a note of unpleasantness.
But today – today, he climbed onto my lap and smiled when he read his name at the start of my blog. He sat there and I let him because there was no other place, nowhere more important, nowhere urgent or pressing or calling to us, that we had to go.