(Written by Dad two weeks ago while Mom was at the CN Tower stair climb)
“Good mornin’ Dad.”
“Good mornin’ Ella.”
Ella is always the sweetest morning greeter. With her gentle sweet tone, and oft mispronouncing of words, Ella snuggles in beside and sooths the soul to start the day. I would keep her four years old for a couple more years if I could. Every girl has been different at this age, but all have been most pleasant and a delight to be with.
I don’t understand why everyone has to line the upstairs hallway just because it’s morning. Board games, Lego, books and everything else you can imagine fill the long pathway past each of the kid’s rooms towards the stairs. The problem is that these kids are early risers, while I am the one who works the night shift. By the time I’m up, they are pretty famished and bored. Such good kids!
Jaclyn is out this morning, our little food beggar Jed with her, so it’s up to me to begin the day. As I pass the boy’s door, the dog spots me. Like the sound of an arriving train, Justus’ tail clanks the bars of his nighttime cage. “Rooorooooo…” I can’t resist when he sounds so sad, unless he has just whipped me with his tail or stuck his nose into my food, then I can resist.
“Release the hound!” I say to Ella.
“Release the horse…” She responds. I can only assume she picked that up where she got the rest of her 10-year-old vocabulary and need to make fun of people. She thinks she is a 10-year-old girl and a boy and a princess all at the same time.
“Ella, can you open the shutters for me?” I ask. “Sure!” she replies as she skips over to the first window. From her tiptoes she can just barely reach the top row.
“I will do the top row El, you do the bottom.”
We go around the ground floor opening all the shutters, making it morning, revealing the mess I had forgotten we left here last night.
“Who made all this mess!?” I asked Ella. She just chuckles as she finishes the last bottom shutter. We begin to tidy up some things.
“Mom should be home any minute. Let’s clean up a little, then we can have some breakfast.”
Ella is such a helper. She runs the stairs six or seven times to bring things up to our room while I sweep a little. “Elijah, you put the shoes away. Charity, you let the dog out and feed him breakfast. Ella, you take these things up to my room and put them on our bed.” Together we tag team the mess and in a couple of minutes the clean house buried underneath is revealed.
“Mom’s home!” A voice calls out from up in the roost that is the girl’s front window. We are always alerted as soon as someone we expect makes the turn onto our street. Mom and Jed return with a coffee and some breakfast for me. What a sweet woman. She’s so sweet! As we sit in the living room and she and Jed start to tell us all the details of their adventure. She begins with, “Wow, there were so many people puking halfway up the CN Tower!” …just as I unfold the last corner of packaging from my Sausage McMuffin. Yum…
The children are chattering and the dog’s feet patter around the kitchen. No one is ever alone in our kitchen any more. As soon as you enter either a curious little person with an inquisitive pleading smile accompanies you, or a mammoth mooch with ears perked and drool dripping. You can guess which one is the dog.
“Up! Up!” Lily stands beside her high chair, sensing the coming meal. Her sweet little language is tonal. She has a sweet soprano twist up at the end of each word when she is being lovely, and a low-pitched grunt as she is being… difficult. It’s as though we got all the traits of each of the previous seven children jammed into this cute ball of love-hate. She is a chatterbox and sleeps in like Keona did. She raids the cupboards and climbs things like the triplets did. She loses her mind and smashes things with rage like Elijah did/does. She eats like an abyss, begs food and can take a hit like Jed did/does. She cuddles, plays with boys toys and flirts with her sweetness like Ella did. And then, with all of that, somehow she got my eyes and Jaclyn’s hair and build. She sings and tries to whistle. She yells, “DA! DA! DA! DAAAaaaaaaa!” When I come home. Everything she wants she points to, looks at you, and says, “sare” which of course means “share”. As soon as we taught her to share she started guilt tripping everyone else to share with her.
Breakfast is served! Everything we have that doesn’t take any work is available this morning. Some get donuts, some get pizza buns from last night, some get anything they can convince us to let them have. It’s so late anyways that we are having lunch in a short while. At least, that’s how I justify it as I sit on the couch and check Facebook.
Morning is special here. I love it. And as we settle into our Bibles for a little nourishment, or into our cups of tea and coffee for a little fellowship, we all enjoy a sweet start to the day together.
Thank you Lord for our home. Thank you for mornings together. Thank you for loving and teaching us to love.