Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I've been spoiled for the past few weeks, greeted by blazing pink and orange skies on fire with the morning sun's waking. I leave for work in that wickedly beautiful hour when the neighborhood is silent and still and the day is blooming up from the horizon, a creamy yellow cast where blue sky meets darkened earth. Above it is an infinite midnight blue, but the yellow bleeds into the blue and soon enough there's a burst of color from behind the Superstitions and over Gold Canyon.
Clouds stripe a lightening sky, bright in neon pink and day-glo orange, purple trails following behind them. The sun is a ball of orange fire, cresting the mountains and causing ripples of light to break up the night. The colors are so vibrant that for a moment I find myself lost in them, drawn by the universe to revere the beauty she owns.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/midiman/108715098/ by midiman

I'd have taken a picture but for the whole "Don't take pictures while driving" thing.

Even with the cutest alarm clocks in the world, waking on a cold morning at least two hours before the sun's daily attention whoring can be painful. I squinch my eyes tighter and think to myself, "Self, if you lie very still and don't make any sudden movements, they will think you are still asleep. And then they will go back to sleep. Just for 10 minutes."

"Mama? MAMA! Mama. Mama. I'm sitting on my bed. I'm sitting on my bed (this part is sung). I'm sitting on my bed." ::pause:: "Mama. Mama. MAMA! Mommy. Mom."

Groaning, I come down a bit in price and beg the sleep gods for just FIVE more minutes instead of 10.

And then there's the thump of Rohan's solid body dropping from the crib with its open side onto the floor. Following this immediately is a loud protest wail.

Annnnnd...I'm up. Two hours before the sun. My husband is in the shower already and I have to pee. But first I have to make sure Evil Knievel in the other room hasn't permanently damaged any furniture or the flooring in his fall. I go heft him from the spot where he sits, half asleep and so warm, and put him on my hips and he smiles at me then buries a runny nose into my shoulder.

"MAMA! MAMA!" She's nearing a fever pitch and I squelch my desire to tell her (not for the first time) to stop yelling when she wakes and just open her door and come get us. Hells bells, you'd think we had her shackeled to her scrolly white bedframe with her helpless pleas when she first wakes! Instead, I open her door, push it with my hip until it swings wide, and tell her I have to go to the bathroom.

And then I realize that with my husband in the shower if I take Rohan in there he will want in and that adds easily 5 minutes to our morning ritual for drying baby, chasing naked baby, wrestling naked baby while hands are covered in lotion, and trying to coax baby back into clothes. But I have no choice, as setting him down is breaking Mommy Code and will result in an epic meltdown of the level you'd only expect had someone set his hair on fire and then handed him a mirror. So, into the bathroom we go, and I'm peeing while I undress and undiaper him, and in the other room Luca's still calling for me. I hand the naked boy into his dad and go in to help Luca pick and outfit she deems acceptable, which will undoubtably consist of anything I did not suggest.

The mornings start like this and sometimes by the time I leave the house I feel like I've been up for hours already. I don't like leaving my kids and never have, but I do cherish the quiet moments in the car to just drive and listen to the radio and watch a new day crack open and swallow the night.


I was deep in my own mind, where I retreat while driving in rush hour traffic. It's my sanity time in the morning, when the day is fresh and new and I can muster a sense of zen about even the worst traffic delay. My thoughts started with Christmas presents and plans, and then moved on to our wedding anniverary, coming shortly after Christmas on January 2nd. It's our 7th, and the old joke about a 7 year itch popped into my head and I thought to myself that I could give him a gag gift of a back scratcher, just in case.

But then I started to think about that 'itch' concept and how there are definitely days I want to smother my husband with a pillow or send him to live with his brother for a night or 15. But there are also so many big things to celebrate, like marriage and kids and trips and houses and challenges and overcoming them and love sweet, big, universe-rattling love. And maybe it's because I'm a sentimental fool or maybe it's because I'm lucky or maybe it's a combination of both with an old-fashioned dose of giving it our all, but there's no itch there.

I looked at the sky right then and thought for a second I'd missed the coral sunrise. The dome of deep blue above me was circled in a stark sky blue. And then I realized with some sadness that the sun's rise this morning was not to be met with a parade of vibrant colors and golden clouds on fire. Instead, it had happened quietly, the sun sneaking into the room without my noticing. A quiet, unassuming sunrise that, no less that on the vibrant days, lit up the sky and signaled the start of another day.

Much like marriage. And family. For all the technicolor days and azure and peony skies, there are those days when you lose yourself in your own reflections and come back to earth to realize the sun's been up this whole time.

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