It all started in college. My freshman roommate didn't have much of a social life, so pretty much the only time she wasn't in our tiny room was when she had a class. Fortunately, her classes were always earlier than mine, so after she rushed off to her 8:00 lab, I had the room to myself for a few precious moments before my 10:30 lecture across campus. Every morning, my CD player would wake me up to the same song--"The Kiss" by The Cure--around 9, and then I would get up, make coffee (the good stuff--I was probably the only kid in the dorm with a coffee grinder, and my mom would ship me my favorite roast from a shop in my hometown), nibble on a bagel or some sourdough (also shipped by Mom), and waste time on the internet, which was just starting to be a big thing. It was the time I was most comfortable and the most myself. There are a lot of things I don't remember about my years in school (SO many years!) because the moments got bulldozed by the knowledge I was acquiring, but those mornings when I was eighteen are still vivid. The first measure of Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me takes me right back there.
I realize now that that year was the start of a lifetime of being a morning person. I love having some quiet time after I get up. It's the one time I can always think clearly. Now Asher has joined me in a new early morning ritual. He rises earlier than I would like, but fortunately he also likes to luxuriate in the quiet and slow pace of the morning. Now we get up together, lounging on the couch while he has his morning milk. We talk about the dog and cat, who have also just gotten up and had breakfast, and we chat about the plans for the day. Sometimes, especially on Saturdays when we have extra time to be lazy, we watch a little Thomas or Zoboomafoo on PBS. Most days, we move slowly for the first couple of hours. I suck down a couple of cups of good coffee and check my email here and there. Breakfast happens eventually, as does toothbushing and, sometimes, getting dressed (the beauty of having a nanny is not having to gear up for daycare every morning), but mostly we just chill out until the nanny arrives. After that, it's a mad dash for me to get showered and ready and out the door.
I can't remember the last time I slept past 6:30, let alone 9, and the soundtrack is different, but my morning ritual continues, and I love it. I don't truly appreciate how much I need that morning time until something interrupts it, like a surgery scheduled at 7:30. Or a helpful husband getting up with the child so that I can sleep. He wonders why a lot of mornings I get up and let him sleep even though it is "his" day. The reality is that as tired as I might be, my Asher time is my new morning ritual, and without it, my day just isn't right.
One of the wonders of motherhood is how we change to accommodate the new little person in our lives. The essence of who we are isn't gone, but it manifests in new ways. In my case, those early hours are when I am most myself and most connected, and I can't think of another person I would rather share my mornings with.