"Some days we all leap from the bed, already late, our thoughts rushing ahead to the world beyond our front door ...Yet we can still pause long enough to gaze at the new world before our eyes and to give thanks for the day we have been given ...
"Then, in a blink, we are scattered - by a fit of giggles or the day's first sibling battle; by the clatter of breakfast dishes and the general commotion that ensues as everyone gets up and out the door. But at least, as we set forth, we each carry within us the day's first gift, a quiet holy moment born of love." (Mittenstrings, pp. 16-17)
A short and simple chapter, "Morning" asks us to take a look at this brief time of day. How can we make it special - or at the very least more mindful - for ourselves and our families?
Mornings do set the tone for the day, don't you think? Whatever the day might bring our way, we take those first moments along with us - our husbands bring them to work, and our children tuck them inside their little hearts, too. And just like a good breakfast, a good morning provides the nourishment we all need to make it through the day.
So what's on the menu today? Whole grains and fruit or a pop-tart to-go? ;)
In another post I'd like to address how I might
find make time for myself in the morning, and what kinds of things I might do with that time. Because I do think it's important for a mother to nourish herself first so that she may better handle her family's needs. But since these days my Earlybird is beating us all to the punch consistently (4:30 EVERY day) I have little hope of following such sage advice as this:
"Let us begin each common day, dear Reader, with a ceremonial all your own: Carve out private time for yourself, at least half an hour in the early morning to collect your thoughts over a cup of tea or coffee, to pray or meditate, to read a page from an inspirational book, and to plan your day. Of course this necessitates you rising earlier than the rest of your family." (Mrs. Sharp's Traditions, p. 36)
As for my family, well, here are a few thoughts on making mornings feel a bit more like a warm hug and less like a cold shoulder. (And please remember these are just my ideas for my family, I don't mean to sound like I'm telling you all what you should do!)
~ It begins with the bed, I believe; sleeping well leads to waking well. Keep the beds freshly made with cool cotton in the summer and warm flannel in the winter. Spend a few minutes neatening the bedrooms before retiring at night. Waking to a messy room is no fun.
~ Keep bedtimes regular and on the early side (you know that old saying: Early to bed and early to rise ...). There will be more time and energy for the mornings, if sufficient sleep has been had.
~ Before my boys wake, I like to slip into their room and open the blinds and turn off the nightlight. There's nothing quite so lovely as waking to natural light - unless it's also waking to fresh air. So if it's warm enough out, I also open the windows.
~ I always say the same thing to each boy when he wakes: "Good morning, __! Do you feel refreshed? Did you have good sleep?" I have said this to my children every morning since Bookworm was a toddler. It is said in kind of a sing-songy way, but the boys have come to expect it, I think. :)
~ Right now, breakfast is kind of catch-as-catch can, but since we homeschool, I really wish to take advantage of our mornings at home and plan a sit down breakfast-time. This shouldn't be too hard, with a little preparation - if I set the table the night before and ready the breakfast fixings in the kitchen. Then, when everyone is up, and had a bit of wake-up time, we light a candle and begin ... with grace and thanks for the day and then dig in!
~ In the winter, dark mornings could be made more welcoming with candlelight and cocoa. Start a pot of warm milk before the children rise and set out mugs of cocoa. Light candles on the kitchen windowsill. Have plenty of throw blankets ready, kindle the fire, and sit together to watch for the sun.
~ And speaking of the sun, observing the morning unfold, naturally, has always been important to me. Maybe this is because I rarely miss a sunrise, lol! But I really feel this is a great way to greet the day - to pay attention to what kind of day it is. And if throughout the house, the shades are up, and the windows are cracked we can do this more easily. We might notice the sun as its rays hit the treetops, or the clouds rolling in from the west. We will hear the sounds of the morning, maybe some lovely birdsong ...
~ And this wonderful idea comes from my friend (and Mittenstrings buddy!), Laura. :) Every once in a while she surprises her sleeping children with a breakfast tray filled with fresh fruit and bagels. And as the children eat, she opens the book they'd been reading the night before ands picks up where they left off. Isn't that the sweetest way to begin the day?
Well, these are some initial ideas, but I'll be thinking more about this ~ AND I am eager to hear your thoughts on Morning! Do you have an efficient routine or any special rituals to share? Do you find mornings a comfort or a challenge? How do you make this time special for yourself and your family? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog, and let's share some ideas!
But now that this morning is well underway, I'm off. I hope you all have a happy day. :)