We have a wonderful morning routine that was good-grief-a-long-time coming, and I love it with the core of my being.

My children have decided to wake at 6:30 each morning. They get up, get dressed all the way to shoes and socks, and pack their lunches from their shelf on the pantry. Then, per our agreement, their time is their own.

The rules are pretty straight forward and simple:

a. I will give them one wake up greeting at 6:30, and if they choose to wake up, the morning is their own. But I’m not a snooze alarm, so I’m not coming back until 7:30 when I’m ready to start the day.

b. If they cannot find something (pants, socks, battery chargers, etc.), they must wait until 7:30.

c. Be quiet. No noise before 7:30.

Pretty much, life and grace and new mercies begin at 7:30.

One of them spends his free time snuggled in my bedroom with a fuzzy blanket and an iPad. The other climbs into bed with me for the last hour of the morning. It is glorious. I can’t tell you how much.

Tyler bounded in with a joy he could not contain one morning this week. “Mommy! You have to look out the window! Look at the sun and the clouds! Look!”

“What time is it?”

“It’s 6:32.”

“I will look at 7:30.” I realize the sunrises don’t wait.  And the early bird catches the worm.  And all that stuff that you earlies love.  But sleep is a currency I spend very carefully.

“Mommy, you just have to look. It’s beautiful.”

I roll over to the windowed side of the bedroom. Sure enough, the sky is painted in broad, magnificent strokes of pink and orange. It’s a cotton candy sky.

“It’s beautiful, baby. Take a picture,” My morning voice sounds a little like a drunken slur.

At 7:30, he brings me the phone. “See, Mommy? I took a picture for you.”

I hold the phone and marvel at the colors, so thankful he captured it before my mind was working. I compliment him on his careful eye and the way he took a picture through the trees.1655938_10205005049433299_4006319729113392798_n

He beamed. “I knew you would love that angle.”

Angle? He chose a specific angle to take a picture of the sunrise? I’d never heard him use that word.

I am always left a little speechless in those moments, when they come out with something brilliant, great or small, when I discover he’s been watching and learning and taking it all in.

It’s hard to know what I love most: my child’s eye for magnificence, the fact that he understands how to manipulate a camera angle, or the truth that he knew I would delight in it with him.
And perhaps his compassion and understanding for my lack of aesthetic joy at 6:30.

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