Cian woke up this morning with his sisters, early, even though he’d been up a few times during the night and I knew he was tired enough to have stayed asleep.
“Cian!” I said. I found him sitting at the top of the stairs, eyes half shut, as if willing himself to go down to the kitchen for breakfast. “Why are you awake?”
He looked up at me. “‘Cause it’s morning.”
It’s a January mood, this feeling I’ve had lately–that sense of being down-in-the-dumps, of wanting to hibernate and eat nothing other than foods filled with way too much chocolate (preferably hot, and also with cheese and/or wine. And pizza). I hear the wind rattling through the vent on the back of the family room fireplace, and feel the cold air seeping from under the door of David’s office, which is tucked down a hallway off of the kitchen and evidently has tissue paper for insulation. A million to-do lists swirl around in my brain, but I have about as much oomph to conquer them as I do to walk outside (David laughs because everyone he knows is complaining about the cold–“Are they surprised that it’s winter?”–but seriously. It’s cold.).
Cian slid down the stairs on his bottom this morning, holding my hand while the dog followed, Riley sniffing the back of his neck as if she could still smell the sleep that clung to him. I found the girls on separate couches, reading magazines at six-thirty in the morning like they were sitting under dryers at a hair salon, when in fact they were just waiting for breakfast. David nodded toward the counter–“Your coffee’s right there”–and clipped Riley’s leash to her collar to brave the frigid air outside together. I shuffled around the kitchen, pouring orange juice and plating waffles and slicing bananas. The sky outside our windows was still dark, with a small touch of pink starting to touch the tops of the trees on the hill across the creek we can’t see, but know is there, because we can hear the geese moving toward it as they shift their way back north (don’t they know it’s this cold?).
It’s 1:47 p.m. now. Cian is running through the kitchen. He’s also rolling on the floor. And humming a song to himself and playing with his rocket ship and making up an entire conversation he’s pretending to have with himself. All at once, he’s doing this. All together, he plays and sings and charges through the day no matter the night he’s had, no matter the weather, no matter his mood.
“Hey, Cian,” I just said.
“What?” He’s grinning at me, still in the middle of whatever play was going on in his mind, waiting for my question.
“Is it still morning?”
He nods. “Yup! It’s morning.”
I laugh. “No, it’s not! It’s afternoon.”
“Mm-mmm,” he says, shaking his head. “See? Morning?” He points to the bright sunshine outside. “It’s morning.” And with that he runs back to his rocket ship and asks it to join him in his game.
I’m sitting on the couch under a blanket, with the dog at my feet, sweatshirt zipped up. But I’m going to get up now. I’m going to pick up the girls from school and tackle the to-do list and return those messages and get back to that book I’m writing. Because it’s morning, you know. It doesn’t matter how cold or January-y it is. Or the fact that it’s afternoon, actually.