It's 5:30am, and I'm just finishing my first cup of coffee. Maple stayed up late last night; so she won't be awake for a while.
Oh, nothing in our schedule changed.
Around 6:45pm we started putting on PJ's and washing hands and faces. Brushing teeth. Giving kisses. Quieting down.
By 7:15pm, both girls were in the bed. Lights out.
Around 7:30pm, I heard Maple singing and kicking the wall. Nothing new. She often sings herself to sleep (much to the chagrin of her older sister, with whom she shares a room).
Around 8:00pm, I heard a bump in the night. Since I was drowning in a sea of half-folded clothes, I yelled, "Get back in bed!" Silence.
A few more bumps. A few more threats. This is better than last night, I thought. Last night, I caught her sneaking out of her bedroom on all fours, flashlight in hand, crawling into the playroom.
Finally, around 10:00pm, I went to check on them before heading going to sleep myself. As part of our nightly routine, the girls and I tidy up their room. Books in place. Dirty clothes in the basket. Shoes in the closet.
Imagine my surprise when I open the door to this:
I left her there for a while. I knew daddy would come in soon and check on them, and I wanted to make sure he got the same chuckle I did. Ah, the joys of raising a toddler.
But now it's 5:33am. Not even the birds are stirring yet. It's 50 degrees outside, and there is a light breeze. I'm making hot chocolate and taking a few quilts outside to the lawn chairs.
I've been missing Chloe these days. I mean, we have been together, in location. But I'm feeling a bit disconnected from her. I want to know her little heart, and I want her little heart to know she is important to me.
So at 5:45, I'm going to sneak into her room and stroke her hair. I'm going to whisper for her to come down out of the top bunk. I'm going to help her slide her arms through her jacket sleeves and slide her little toes into a pair of pink socks.
And we're going to watch the sun rise.
Thank you, Jesus, for early mornings.