It’s 7:31 AM on Sunday morning. There is not much normal about this morning.
Usually, my watch’s alarm beeps two or three times at 5:30 AM, and I roll out of bed, pull on sweat pants and a sweatshirt, then shoes and a jacket, reflector vest and flashlight, and I take my dog for a walk. I get up regardless of a child waking in the night, too few hours of sleep, or if it’s rainy and cold. This is how I always start my day.
But last night, I turned off my alarm: How long I would sleep, I wondered? The answer? 6:30! I still took the dog (and myself) out for our normal walk; I still needed the reflector vest because the mornings are pitch black out here, just north of Seattle. I still put in ear buds and listened to my audiobook.
When I got back from the walk, there were no bare-chested boys wrapped up in blankets waiting for me to return and waiting for the clock to turn to 7 AM, the time when they’re allowed to start watching TV on weekend mornings. There was no argument about whose turn it was to go first: was it Ben, who likes to watch sports highlights? Or Kiefer, who likes to watch Dude Perfect and Studio C? There was no boxer-and-sweatshirt wearing husband shuffling out of the bedroom, looking underslept and groggy. And there was no tween daughter to wake at 8 for her turn with the remote.
My family (well, all the humans) is all gone! I gave my blessing for my baseball-crazy boys to fly to the East Coast to see their favorite Nationals try to clinch the World Series. They left Saturday and return home tomorrow. My daughter is at a friend’s house.
And so, this morning is mine. I know I should say that I miss them, and if the morning lasted longer than a few hours or more than a single day, I might. But right now, I am savoring the silence. With the TV off, I can hear seagulls screech and the house creek and my keyboard slick softly with each letter I type. I can hear myself think.
How nice to hear myself think.