The Mornings Are Perfect

The mornings are perfect. Especially this morning, with its July rain, and lavender-hued sky.

My little boy is up, walking a little sideways, covering one eye with his hand as he rubs away sleep and night. “Good morning,” he says. Then he runs to the bathroom, slams up the lid to the potty and pees; for a very long time. Then he reappears in the living room and announces: “I had a lot of pee in me!”

We snuggle on the couch and he kisses my forehead. He tells me he loves me and begs for Cheerios, sometimes with milk, sometimes without. He tells me he wants to be a fireman when he grows up or a horse rider. I tickle his back, and remind myself that he will turn four soon. So I hug him a little tighter. I tell him I will always love him. I tell him he is special and that I am unlucky because I have only one son and not 10 just like him.

Giant Baby

He giggles and says, “You wanna have three sons!?” I say, “You were a giant baby! The day you were born, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I looked over and saw you under these big bright lights and your chest was so big. I was like, wow, I have a boy!” He smiles from one end of the Milky Way to the other.

But, by noon, the yellow Tonka truck is whizzing from one end of the house to the other. It comes within hairs of scarring the legs of my Pottery Barn table. On one pass, it scrapes the paint off the door jam. The hardwood floors in the hallway creak more than ever. They are pounded day in and day out, year after year, by the same four little feet running the obstacle we call home. The squeaky planks chime with the rattle of glass door knobs, loosened by forceful chubby hands, still too little to open doors.

bridgyandsully whiz by, perfect as cummings’s eddiandbill.

Fish Sticks and Ketchup

Every day, these hands reach for fish sticks and more ketchup. Later, when I clear their lunch plates, I see that they’ve eaten half a bottle of ketchup and no fish sticks. I stand at the sink and eat them. All of them. And, I hate fish sticks. The next day, I fix them peas because they never eat any vegetables, and then I remember that peas are legumes, and I suck.

But the mornings are perfect. The Super Bridgy wakes up and plays in her crib for 20 minutes. Eventually, she’ll sing “Maaa-ma. Maaa-ma. I way-et.” I’ll change her diaper and carry her to the living room. We’ll sit on couch and she’ll tilt her head into the crook of my shoulder and say, “Mawnin” (Morning). I’ll wonder how much longer I have before her toddler accent completely fades. I then proceed to tell her good morning 10 times, hoping to hear her say, “mawnin,” just once more.

Bewitching Peanbutter

But, by the bewitching hours of afternoon, I will have wearied of her begging for one more sippy cup of milk and one more ‘poon of peanbutter. She’ll turn the sippy cups upside down and shake patterns of milk onto the floor. Most of the peanut butter will be on her face. At night, after I put her to bed, I will find the spoon between the couch cushions. The next day, I will take the cushions outside and spray them down with the hose. While my back is turned she’ll pick all the blossoms off my tomato plants.

But the mornings are perfect, especially, this morning. It is July, and rain has fallen on summer.

Stay In Touch

I don't know what brought you here today, but I'm glad you're here. I invite you to sign up for my MONTHLY NEWSLETTER. It will be delivered right to your inbox just once a month. (No annoying daily emails.) Life is beautiful and though the days be short, sometimes, our troubles are long. Let's share a small part of the journey with each other! --jen


  1. says

    Jen, your days spark memories of not so long ago and I wish that somehow, I could go back for just one day.

    Beautifully written, dear heart.


  2. says

    @MIRUSPEG – Thank you, Peg! Your comments always make me feel on top of the world! You have a way of encouraging others that is so natural! Thanks, again. jen

  3. says

    Delightful post Jen.
    I love how you begin each day with a clean slate….so to speak!

    I ALWAYS love your writing style and I admire your sense of humour, your positive attitude brightens my day.

    You are always clever and worth reading. I leave your blog a wiser and happier person.

    Bless you

  4. says

    @MOM – Thank you! They kid adore you, yaknow!

    @JANNIE FUNSTER (you have such a cool last name!) It breaks my heart, too.

    @TR – Thank you for this insight. I’ll make you a poon of peanbutter. =)

    @WILDBILLYELLIOTT – Alot of bloggers sell e books off their sites. I’ve never really considered doing this, but I know many bloggers have been very successful with it. If you come up with any ideas for something LMK – actually, I just thought of one. WE must discuss!

  5. wildbillyelliott says

    What does a book sell for these days? Six, eight, ten bucks?

    If you sold 100,000 copies and you got to keep $2 from each book…


    Then go and do it again.

    Loved the story. I also love the present tense. It takes the reader THERE~ and the words and experience morph into thier own.

  6. says

    There’s a certain poetry to this that is like: Ode to a Normal Day. But within your version of normality – so much subtle, timeless, UNCOMPLICATED beauty. You captured that so well. The uncomplicated but enormous beauty of an otherwise normal day. You remind us that its the little things in life that are the most extraordinary. What I wouldn’t give right now for a ‘poon of peanut butter!

  7. Anonymous says

    What a sweet post. Now I know why your tomato plants never produced fruit. LOL I had my suspects…
    Every moment
    I spend with the kids is a wonderful experience.
    Thanks for sharing them with me.
    Love you– Mom

  8. says

    this was such a cute and sweet post! sometimes(I said sometimes) I wish i could turn back the hands of time…but since I cant i will live vicariously through your eyes…


  9. says

    @LANCE – Oh, that video made me very teary. You always find the best content. Thank you for always being willing to pass the good stuff along. When it hit Gretchen, it hit me, hard.

  10. Lance says

    Hi Jen,
    I love the title of this (and the writing!). The start of a new day. Starting fresh. Like a newness of life. It’s wonderful…what you’ve said!

    And they do grow up fast. Here’s a short video by Gretchen Rubin that I love:

    It’s so worth watching…

    You are a gift to your children…they are lucky to have you in their lives…

  11. says

    I am sure many moms go through this daily cycle. Hey! It’s not exclusive to moms – it’s wives too. Still, when you tuck them in at night, all is forgiven (same with husbands, right)?


  12. says

    @NAOMI – patience? stamina? It’s 1153 and I still have my pajamas on. LOL! I really thought this piece was so blahh. Like asking that question they say every blogger should ask her/himself: “So what?” I’m going to stop reading those blogs. Ha!

    @MAMA4X – What a beautiful though – and no profound living – just my living. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

    @TR – Are you serious? I must be too hard on myself. This sat in my documents for three days. I finally decided to publish it today because I didn’t have anything else ready. I really wasn’t going to publish it. Too funny. In fact, I delete three paragraphs. =/ I’ve lost perspective. Ha!

    @OKLAHOMA GIRL – Thank you! I really appreciate this feedback. You are so sweet. Thank you for always speaking words of life! And, for the emails.

    @LOREN – Thank you, Loren. I’m still struck by your last post about Blogher. Not at all what I’d expect from a Blogher post. Thanks for always validating my writing efforts.

  13. says

    Most beautiful post!! The word pictures are fabulous. I felt as if I were beside ya’ll seeing it all happen, hearing the beautiful voices. You are a blessed woman, dear girl.

    Hugs & much love to you & your darlin’ family!!

    blessed be…

  14. Naomi Munn says

    It is good, Jen. Very good indeed. It’s the small details that say so very, very much about your life and love for your children.

    And we go through enough ketchup in one week to keep Heinz in business forever!!! *lol*

    I wish I had your patience and stamina. However, I am kinda glad they don’t like peanut butter (even on a spoon) after reading your post! *hug*

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