Friday, June 6, 2008

This Morning...

"My strength... returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms." ~Dorothy Day

The alarm was set for just after 4:30 a.m., but I awoke at 4:00. It was close enough to rising time that I couldn't fall back to sleep, so I lay still in bed while a cool breeze blew through my slightly open window. The air is usually calm at this time of morning. I looked at the thermometer. 32 degrees. Birds were already up and about, singing cheerfully even though the sky had barely begun to brighten. I got up, too.

For the past several days, Melissa has left the house for work at 5:20 a.m., and I think this will be her summer schedule. She likes to rise early enough that her mornings don't feel hurried, and she also likes to have Mexican coffee before she leaves. So, I get up, too, and I brew a pot of the coffee in my French press and whip some fresh, raw cream to dollop on top. Then I sprinkle on a little bit of grated Mexican chocolate because it makes it look prettier, and I sit across the kitchen counter from Melissa while we both sip our coffee and chat.

I love early mornings, and I love my family. I treasure the moments with my last child at home. It won't be long before Melissa moves away and on to other things.

I had big plans for yesterday. I want to finally get this house and yard completely clean and organized. I just need to get past my half-hearted motivation and make a big push, so I made a checklist of specific tasks to do, and I psyched myself up to work hard until it was finished. But things don't always go the way we intend for them to go.

The phone rang at 5:30 a.m. It was Michelle, calling to tell me that she and and her two boys were extremely ill (maybe something they ate?). Michelle was in bed with her head flat on the pillow. If she lifted it, she'd be sick. Obviously, this meant that she couldn't care for her also-miserable boys, so I arrived at Michelle's house just before 10 a.m., relieving Monty's mom, who had been there for over an hour.

Oh, my. I did load after load of laundry and tried to keep my daughter and grandsons as comfortable and hydrated as possible. The poor little miserable family! But those boys are really sweet when they're sick. There was not much whining or crying going on, and they almost seemed grateful that someone was taking care of them. And then there was the puppy, who needed to go outside every hour or two. Sometime around noon, Michelle and both boys were asleep all at the same time, and this gave me a chance to do some housecleaning. More laundry. Dishes. Tidying.

Melissa came after work to help for a while, but she had other obligations and eventually had to leave. It was a long day, and I finally came home at 7:30 last night. The littlest guy was feeling much better when I left, and Roman showed some signs of improvement (he had kept down liquid and even a few bites of rice for over an hour). Michelle was still flat on her back, but she seemed more perky.

Today I will do what I did yesterday and spend my day in sick bay at Michelle's house, and, hopefully, when I go in this morning, things will be much-improved. But first I will go have some quiet time and write in my journal while I sip a second cup of coffee. Maybe tomorrow I can get to that checklist!