I'm not a morning person. I never have been. I'm not sure it's something I can ever become.
But I've learned to enjoy certain parts of my mornings.
My long-time favorite part has been the first time I see each child for the morning. It may be when I wake them up with a hundred kisses on their warm, soft skin. Or it may be when I drag myself out to the kitchen, following the scent of coffee, and find the boys already sitting at the table eating breakfast. And then I kiss them each one hundred times on their warm, soft skin.
It's been crazy around here trying to get into our new morning routine. Today completes our first full week of school for this school year. Our timing is different because Nolan's new school starts 30 minutes before the elementary school does. I'm caring for my friend's kids, Garrit and Abby, each morning for about an hour before school. Last year I had to get all 5 kids into the car on time, but only 3 of them had to be ready for school. Now I have to make sure all shoes are tied, jackets remembered, lunches in back packs, and back packs in the car. Like I said, it's been a little crazy.
But I'm starting to love a new part of our morning. When it's time to go, everyone piles into our new (used) minivan. This is the first time we've owned a minivan! I'm still opposed to the gold color and the fact that I'm a minivan mom, but I'm LOVING the convenience of this vehicle. It's a good thing I love it because we spend so much time in that car!
So each morning we pile into the minivan and set off towards Nolan's school, which is about a ten-minute drive. The route is new to us this year, so we've been observant of what we pass along the way.
Our morning drive has become an adventure. On the first day of school, we noticed some geese in an open field. Then we passed a lake where there was just one single goose floating on the water. A few turns later, we passed some flood water in a field and saw ducks in the water. Most of them were diving down into the water (presumably getting their breakfast), leaving their hind ends up in the air.
So now our morning adventure has morphed into a daily story involving these settings and characters. We check the open field and notice whether the geese are gathered closer to the road or further back from it. We guess what they might possibly be eating in that field. Some suggestions may be weird or even gross. We drive by the lake and look for "the lonely goose." Yesterday he wasn't there, but then we saw a few geese later in a new spot. We all agreed that it was the Lonely Goose and he had finally made a few new friends. We were very happy for him.
Then we turn onto a road where I accelerate quickly and the kids are positive that this activates wings that come out of the side of my minivan. This is just one of the many features of our fun new vehicle, in addition to its ability to morph into a submarine should we ever have a need to go under water.
Around the curve we come up to "Duck Bottom Pond." This is everyone's favorite part of the drive. We all tell each other when it's coming up. Then as we pass it, we search for ducks diving down to get whatever they're getting (we guess about that, too). We all triumphantly yell "Duck Bottom Pond!" And that's when we are officially ready to start a new day.
I haven't been a very playful mom. Imagination isn't my strongsuit. But somehow these kiddos have helped me see the fun in making our morning commute into a story. It starts their day out on a fun note. It gives them little things to look forward to and distracts those who don't really feel like going to school.
It also reminds me to truly enjoy every minute of time I have with my kids each day. Even the time in the mornings.