Those quiet mornings that start at dawn where the promise of a great day begins. You know those ones where the birds are singing and sunlight is filtering through the curtains? Those ones that follow with your child’s laughter breaking through the birdsong, not crying or fighting or screaming because someone took their toy but just laughter. Those mornings are the ones that I cherish and they are all far to few and far between.
The differences between myself in my twenties and my thirties are vast, it is the same as comparing a rose just blooming to one which is just bare roots. In my twenties, I was permanently full of energy and I wanted to explore the world. I walked the Wicklow Way, climbed mountains, toured Europe and visited America to name a few. I wanted to experience life, to find out what I liked all while working on a chosen career path.
It’s funny how we change and adapt as we grow. In my thirties, I love and cherish my settled life. These mornings like this morning when we are all at home, no one has to rush off to work or appointments. Those mornings where we have breakfast in bed, cuddles and TV followed by feeding the birds and waking up the animals, that’s if my toddlers didn’t get there first; where I can hold my partner’s hand and drink hot coffee and listen to my girls laughing and playing together. I want nothing else. I am completely happy.
This is so rare that I know as soon as my eyes open that it’s one of those mornings. Usually, it follows a full nights sleep for everyone and almost always it’s a Sunday after the manic insanity of Saturdays. This morning started out just like this and it was magical. The cottage is still in renovation mode and it’s still driving me crazy but I just didn’t care today. Yesterday I was sick and I just had a home couch and Netflix day with my littlest. We laughed and played, we slept and we watched TV. I drank in her clean, freshly bathed smell from her hair when I cuddled her on the couch. I normally cram in far too many things while my children sleep but yesterday I was forced to lie with her and I had forgotten how much I loved it. The way she holds my fingers or pats my leg. The way she dreamily wakes up to check I’m there and instantly falls back asleep.
This transition from pre-adult to adult even though it’s marked by age and happened through experience. I realised as I chatted to my partner over coffee, still all tucked up in bed we have both achieved so much prior to meeting each other that when we met we could grow together. I am a very headstrong independent person. So much so that when I get lost or confused especially around a career choice or something for myself it actually scares me. I’m normally target or goal driven and I love ticking off those markers to make those dreams closer to a reality.
This is why those quiet mornings are so unsettling. As much as I love them it’s unsettling to be quiet, calm and happy all at once. Like I’m waiting for the phone to ring with bad news or to whisk one of us away. That by allowing myself to fully commit to these mornings and enjoy them completely that they won’t exist or will disappear in an instant. I guess this is part of my transition from twenty to thirty. Before I always lived in the moment. I barely made plans that were longer than a few months or a year at most. Now I have plans that are years in the making that I’m fully committed to and sometimes I don’t recognise the person that I am.
This morning made both of us reflect on how we got here, to this place, to this moment. We laughed at our other options that we had of travel, work etc. Had we taken any of those other roads we wouldn’t be here. Our family wouldn’t be here and I certainly wouldn’t be writing to you. I would probably still be in science of some kind or in a different country and the scary thought is my partner could be in a different country or as a horrible thought no longer alive. Both of us made very small choices that led to here but we became so busy that we barely get family time or holidays. There is always a sacrifice and that is usually family time.
But in these mornings, I remember why I made all of my life’s choices and my life although far from perfect, is right where I want it to be. Can you say that? If you can’t, what is the one change that you can make to turn it into the life you want it to? Do you have these mornings too? Can you tell me your secret love or just what they mean to you? Don’t get me wrong I would love for many different things to have happened, winning the lotto would be amazing for one but on these mornings I know there is nothing I would give up or swap out. That little head bumping mine to say ” ‘orning ” followed by a head pat or rolling over to freshly made coffee or a cuddle from someone you love in a warm safe place. But as always the mornings give way to midday, my toddlers get tired and cranky and there is yet another dirty bum to change, hunger to quench and an argument over toys to sort out. No matter how hard you try to keep that feeling of being complete and happy, time moves on and those feelings and self-surety are lost in those mornings. That’s why this post is an ode to them of sorts because I feel like if I don’t treasure them and immortalise them in writing, that the next time I stop to reflect on one of those mornings it might be too late to cherish any one of these things that makes me truly happy.