Sleep can be a hard thing to hang on to. In our college years, we can drop off during the middle of the day at the drop of a hat. When babies are born, cherished moments of sleep are snatched whenever possible. As women near the half century mark (yikes, that makes me sound flippin' ANCIENT) sleep can elude us, and pharmaceutical companies rejoice at the prospect of selling us sleep aids.
But sometimes, I really don't mind being wide awake at 5 am. Especially on a March morning-when I watch as our quiet street is lit by the glow of streetlamps, and errant Christmas lights yet to be taken down. Glancing to the east, I begin to see a faint lightening at the edge of the tree line, and soon a pale pink filters between the rooftops.
(what it would look like if I lived in a chalet in the mountains....since I didn't take my own picture:)
The only sound is the ticking of the clock on the wall, and the occasional car as it drives by. Perhaps it is someone who works an early shift, or maybe a mother driving to the gas station to pick up milk for breakfast, or the newspaper delivery man, running late.
And as my guys continue to sleep, the world continues to lighten. It is now peach, and yellow, and the dirty gray snow banks reflect the weak sunshine as it spreads through the branches of the pine tree outside my front window.
I am reading Anne Tyler's latest release, loving the quiet reading time to myself in the morning. It is different than the reading before bed routine, as now I am awakening, rather than drifting off and losing my place on the page.
And now the furnace has clicked on, and the traffic has increased. The garbage truck has left the high school across the street, the giant metal bins shuddering as they were lifted and shaken over the hulking trucks. Soon the uniformed students will be arriving with their heavy backpacks, and their cans of soda, their jackets flung open in disregard of the cold.
The alarm will beep, and Mike will descend the stairs, groggy and smiling, his hair styled in sleep. I will crawl up the ladder to Charlie's loft bed, and gently shake his feet, and waken him for a new day. He has missed so much already.