Today, I’m grateful for the ability and opportunities to walk.
This morning was one of those mornings I’m not proud of, as a parent.
I woke up at the normal time. AB, as has become her custom, came into my bed right around the same time, and we had a really nice little snuggle.
When I began rousing the kids to get ready, though, they were reluctant and dawdling. They have been better this year than last at knowing that we have to use our limited time wisely in the mornings (or Mummy gets stressed out and uses a not-so-nice voice), and we were doing okay… until poor AB slipped on the stairs in a fresh puddle of cat pee. And when I say puddle, I mean a full-on bladder-fed lake, gracing a three-stair expanse, that got her pjs AND the clothes she’d picked to wear, as well as E’s socks, all wet and gross.
Our boy-cat Nico was the culprit, but it’s not his fault (he’s under the weather). It was nobody’s fault. But spending ten minutes cleaning up and disinfecting the stairs meant that when AB got her usual stubborn face on re: wardrobe choices, Mummy started using the not-so-nice voice. And after that tipping point, AB started digging in her heels about every step of getting ready, and E got all upset about Mummy’s tone of voice, and my irritation could do nothing but build up.
Those are the times I wish I could flip a switch and make myself be calm, and not react, and just find the gracious way to move things along… but I haven’t been doing as awesomely at that as I hoped I would be, especially during a week where I have not been having good sleep-luck.
Our friend and neighbour was just passing our house with her daughter as we tumbled out the door – she could tell right away that it was one of those mornings.
But once we were walking, we all calmed down. The air was brisk and bracing, and we trooped through fallen leaves and got our blood pumping, and it just felt good, in spite of everything.
It helps that we were walking to school, and not to the bus stop as we always have in the past. Being one minute late for the school bell barely even counts as late; being one minute late for the bus means you have to rearrange your morning.
And walking is just good for what ails you. It’s something humans were built to do well and often. For me, in the mornings, it lends perspective. It helps me to remember – all the things going “wrong” in the mornings are minor blips – and it’s the literal change of pace that allows me to snap out of the loop of impatience.
I apologized to my kids for being sharp with them, and we had good proper hugs and kisses as I bid them goodbye at school. I’m also very very grateful for the forgiveness of my kids.
And now, because I get another chance every day, I will try again to remember: