I love everything about kids when they first wake up in the morning. I love the way they smell. I love the lines and creases that the pillows leave on their cheeks. I love their untamed hair and morning breath. But most of all I love how calm they are in those first moments of a new day. I don’t know about everyone’s kids but my kids love to snuggle in the morning. They each have different snuggle-routines and I look forward to them every morning.
Now that he’s 13, Jimmy isn’t so into the “snuggling” thing anymore. When he was a little guy he used to pile as many books as were humanly possible into his tiny arms and he would bring them all into my bed, climb under the covers, and snuggle up close. Since I had no other littles back then, he & I would spend what felt like hours reading all those books every single morning. We would do silly voices, giggle, and at some point every morning he would roll onto his tummy and as me to scratch his back. These days, since he’s 13 & much too cool for such antics, he’s more of a morning high-fiver. But the one thing he still does every morning is give me a kiss. Most of the time he kisses me on the top of my head as a first-thing-in-the-morning reminder of how much taller he is than me now. But when you have a teenager, you take all the kisses you can get. So I never, ever complain.
Nate is anything but quiet. The moment he’s up you can hear him. He gathers up his 3 blankies (the same 3 blankies he has slept with since birth & he swears are going to be sleeping between he & his wife someday), flings his door open, & runs down the stairs. He makes a beeline for me and throws his arms around my waist and gives squeezes me tight. Every. Single. Day. That hug might be the best part of my morning, quite honestly. He doesn’t say much other than, “good morning mommy…” in his sweet, ‘i’m-still-kinda-sleepy’ voice. I live for that moment every morning because he’s 9 now and I know my days are numbered. Pretty soon, he’ll be a morning high-fiver too. And I’ll be taking whatever hugs and kisses he’s willing to give.
Sophie runs downstairs at 7am, fully dressed, and smiling every single day. I swear she smiles from the minute she wakes up until the minute she crawls back in that bed. She’s totally a morning person and she goes straight for the dog. She always hugs and kisses Ryder and then makes her way over to me. She usually hasn’t brushed her long hair quite yet and I love the way she smells like her pillow so I always inhale deeply when I kiss her on her head. She snuggles next to me and starts talking–she chats about what she dreamt the night before, asks what I read in my Bible that morning, or sets her school goals for the day (which usually involve finishing as quickly as she can so she can maximize her time with Barbies & legos). She’s pure joy every morning and every day I wonder how I got so blessed to have a daughter like her.
Ella is my baby. She never leaves her bed without her 2 brown bears and she carries them just under her nose. She sniffs them and rubs the soft, silky fabric against her lips the same way she did as a 9-month old. She talks softly in the morning and she loves to have her back scratched just like Jimmy used to. Almost immediately, she curls up on my lap and I’m pretty sure she’d stay there all day if I’d let her. She sits there and lets me hold her for as long as I will…sometimes it’s so hard to tell her it’s time to move from that spot. She always calls the dog over to us because the more snuggles, the merrier. She starts every single day in full “I’m the youngest and I need my mommy” mode. I don’t even care that she plays me like a fiddle every morning because I just don’t. She’s my baby. I need her to be that as much as she does and for as long as she will. It’s a win-win for both of us.
What I cherish the most about this time is that I get to be here for it. Every day. I’m present…I’m here. I’m not rushing off to work or rushing them out the door to school. And not a day goes by that I don’t thank God that I married their daddy because none of these morning snuggles would be possible without the amazing life he provides for our family. Every morning I pinch myself and wonder what I ever did to deserve this life. It may not be perfect…they may not be perfect…but I don’t need perfection. All I need are their morning snuggles.