One of the major differences that our family has developed over the last few months is a shift away from the end product. Though we almost always start out with a desired end result, along the way it becomes apparent that what we really get out of our endeavor is going through the process together.
The best current example would be our mornings. Most mornings I am awakened to this...
My blurry eyes take a moment to recognize that the cold wet thing in my face is our puppy's nose wanting to go outside. She is awake, and therefore I should be as well. Did I mention she is my dog?
Getting out of a snuggly, warm bed curled up with Jules is a very difficult thing, but I don't really want to know the consequences of ignoring Guadalupe. So up I get, out she goes, and I promptly stumble back to bed grumbling to Guadie that she better understand how much I love her to do this.
About two hours later, Jules gets up for work and I follow to make him coffee. About a month ago we invested in an espresso maker. It was $32 dollars and a fabulous purchase! As much as the coffee is nice, the way it has slowed the pace of our morning is the true benefit.
Jules loves coffee. In fact, the addiction is full blown to the cost of about 4 dollars every morning he drove to work. Counting the customary tip, that gets a bit pricey at 25$ a week. So our $32 dollar purchase, coupled with the 8 dollars in syrup for his iced mochas, was recuperated in about a week and a half.
Jules' morning used to be a rushed dash involving sleeping to the last second, and then trying to fit in feeding the cat, ironing clothes, assembling all his stuff for classes, trying to remember his lunch, and being out of the house in time to pick up coffee and battle traffic. I would sleep through all of this and Jules' envy would silently brew. Inevitably, his lunch would be forgotten, I'd feed the cat when I got up, something would be spilled with no time to clean it up, and the stress level of the morning would be all consuming rather than a gradual waking up to the day. Now, Jules gets to sleep in a bit longer. I feed the cat as I'm preparing his coffee and putting his lunch into Tupperware. With me setting his lunch out, he doesn't forget it. But most of all, we get time to talk to each other, to wake up together, and to begin the day enjoying one another. It has amazed me how much better my days are when I begin them with a smile and something positive. Even better, it allows us so much needed time without parental responsibilities.
As much as we try to fit in personal time for us to just be adults who love each other, any parent knows that doesn't happen as much as it should. Most of the time these stolen moments are groggy times at night when the Barracuda has gone to bed and we are beat from the day. By rearranging our morning, we can now save the coffee money and begin the day smiling with each other.
As much as getting out of bed a bit earlier seemed full of groggy discontent, I'm beginning to adore our personal morning time together. It also forces me to get up on the morning and begin the day in a good way. I can now eat breakfast, exercise, and have a moment to breathe into some tea. By the time the Spicy Barracuda awakens, I can have breakfast ready for him and snuggle up for a minute before he starts his PBS Kids cartoons.
The small things we are beginning to fit in our life make me very happy. As much as we love our coffee in the morning, it is the personal interactions which are being reintroduced which make the day that much better. It slows the pace of our lives from the very beginning of the day and really sets a wonderful tone to the rest of it.