Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waking Up

Waking up is a curious thing. About 95 percent of the time we pay no special attention to our little daily ritual of coming out of sleep. 95 percent our our lives we wake, probably to the blaring annoyance of an alarm or obnoxious morning DJ on whatever station is programmed on the clock radio. Then we lay there for a few moments, sort of contemplating whether or not to crawl out of bed, "what would happen if I didn't get up?". Of course, eventually we succumb to whatever qualifies as a motivation in our lives and we drag our  clumsy asses to the bathroom to begin the day.

I don't care about the 95 percent. I'm thinking about the other five percent. There are days when just waking up is the most thrilling and amazing feeling you can experience.

Like when you're about nine years old and, somehow, nobody is quite sure how, you instantly know that it's a snow day. And not like one of those days that it might possibly be a snow day, because those are a dime a dozen, but for sure, like there's no way in hell because it snowed 21 inches overnight. Those are great days to wake up to.

Or when you are on vacation, be it on some remote tropical island where nobody speaks a bit of proper english or visiting one of our beautiful southern states where nobody speaks a bit of proper english. That feeling what you first wake as fantastic because for a split second you're mind is saying, "where the F am I!?" and then you remember, oh yeah, I'm in a cushy hotel room on vacation. The next feeling is the sweet satisfaction you get when your mind is just about to roll through the reasons you need to get up, just out of habit, and you stop yourself mid-thought and say, "No, I don't need to get up early today, in fact, I could stay in bad all damned day if I wanted to." Those are great days to wake up to.

For a little kid of maybe seven or so, there is almost no feeling of exhilaration that can match waking up on Christmas morning. This is because Christmas has all of the amazing elements of childhood ecstasy rolled into one day; no school, toys, candy, presents and family. It's funny to see my daughter, literally falling down the stairs with excitement on that morning of mornings. Those are great days to wake up to.

There have been some scary times waking up too though. Usually when you wake up in a strange place you are freaked out, but as you slowly realize where you are, you become ok. But sometimes that is not the case and you only feel worse once you take it all in and understand where you are. Several times that has happened to me; waking up in a dumpster behind a post office, arising in the loft of an unknown cow barn in the middle of nowhere, and waking up under a girlfriend's bed after spending the night there.

Just waking up itself is a pretty damned amazing event. We go to sleep every night fully expecting that we'll wake up the next morning when the truth is that we just might not. If I could only have one goal in life, maybe that would be a pretty good one; To awake each day thankful to have the gift of another day of life. Or maybe my goal should be to become a greeting card writer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rules of Parenthood

Yesterday morning was a weekday much like any other, or at least that's what I thought upon getting up. I made coffee, showered and got dressed as I normally would, unaware of the grave error that I was about to commit. Around 7:20 I went into my little seven-year-old Brianna's room and began the process of rousting her out of bed. Every school day I go in, make a ruckus of turning off the fan, turning on the light and saying "Good morning! Time to get UP!". I remove all covers, pillows and items of comfort until she just curled into the fetal position in the middle of her bed. Then I begin picking out her clothes and usually by the time I'm done with that she's began shivering enough that she is motivated to get out of bed and into her clothes. Yesterday, however, at the end of the process, my sweet little one just glared at me and growled...yes, growled. I was about to get upset when I school today! I couldn't really believe I had committed such a grave error. I hastily threw pillows and blankets back into place, turned on the fan and shut off the light all the while apologizing profusely for being such an idiot.

And so I've done it, broken one of the cardinal sins of parenthood, and woken my child on their day off. To some parents, perhaps they can shrug this off, but not me. See, I have a list of parenting commandments  in my head that are not to be broken, and "Thou shalt let thy child sleep on holidays, snow days and weekends" was on that list. Now I really have to watch it on some of the others lest I end up in parenting hell, (which is not, as it turns out, may or may not be Chucky Cheese).

Thou shalt not show pictures of my daughter in the bathtub to her prom date

Thou shalt not tell cute pottytraining stories to my daughters friends during their sleepovers

Thou shalt immediately halt "hugs n kissies" when dropping my daughter off at school

Thou shalt not attempt to use the same slang that my daughter & friends are using to appear "cool"

Thou shalt not ever wear a fanny pack on a family outing

Thou shalt not pick up my daughter from school in my robe