My friend E (I like this blog etiquette of using initials; its Victorian coyness seems nicely at odds with the technology) is a reader of many blogs, and she tells me that regular updates are crucial if she is to keep returning for more. So I am clearly failing her miserably right now. I suspect that there are more posts posted about why more posts aren’t being posted than any other subject. I won’t make excuses (you know, three jobs, etc. Oh, damn.) But I will try harder.
I sailed through last week’s Thanksgiving holiday without a sarcastic word, here or in real life, about the whole affair. Maybe I’ve been living in America too long. Or maybe I just have a lot to be thankful for, and can’t see the harm in admitting it, however un-English that may be. So I wanted to write about, and give thanks for, the sweetest part of my day: 7 o’clock in the morning.
Actually it’s more like 7.03 or 7.04. What tends to happen most mornings is that I sit in front of my computer for almost two hours, miserably poking at the keyboard, getting nowhere with my book, until about 6.54, at which point inspiration strikes, and off I go, typing furiously and trying to ignore the little clock in the corner of the screen, which is why we are often running a bit late.
When I finally pull myself away from the computer, I walk across the corridor and open Hallam’s door. He is almost always awake, quietly reading a book. He looks up, mutters hi, closes the book, and comes with me to wake up Catherine. We go into his sister’s room together. I open the blinds while he shoves one of her menagerie of soft furry animals into her face, which will elicit either a giggle or a stern instruction to leave her alone. After a few minutes’ coaxing, she will allow herself to be lifted out of bed, be shod with pink fluffy slippers, and carried downstairs. The sensation of her arms wrapped around my neck and her warm cheek next to mine erases all the frustrations of the previous two hours of fruitless literary endeavor. By the time we reach the bottom of the stairs, she is fully awake and (usually) in a splendid mood.
Breakfast options chez George are varied, although Catherine always starts with Lucky Charms, from which she will expertly pick out the marshmallows, leaving the theoretically healthy stuff well alone. The three of us eat together. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. Hallam will often drill his sister on the countries in South America, or have a philosophical conundrum for me. At some point during all this Christina will return home from her early morning walk, and we are four again.
Life being as busy as it is, I often don’t get home until after the children are in bed. It makes me all the more grateful for our little morning routine, a short but unutterably sweet moment before the day has got its claws into any of us.