Thursday, April 11, 2013

early mornings



sorry for the blurry pictures, but that is what you can expect from me at 5:00 am!  a few weeks ago, right before going to bed, jared asked if i would go running with him in the mornings at 5 if he woke me up.  i told him i would.  in my mind i knew that it would never happen because i have had the hardest time getting him out of bed at 5:30 each day.

much to my dismay surprise, he was up, dressed, and waking me up at 5 the next morning, and the next morning, and the next.  this has been going on for a couple of weeks now.  he sets his alarm (the same alarm that seemed to not work at getting him up previously) and gets up by himself.

it's cold at that time of morning.  it's even colder when it is raining on you, like it was today.  i'm still settling into our new morning routine. i don't love it and i don't look forward to it... yet!  i know i should be seizing this opportunity to bond with my son.  but most mornings we walk silently through the streets of our neighborhood.

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it's much like when nathan first started waking us all up early each weekday morning to read scriptures as a family.  when we first started reading in the morning, we woke up at 6:15!  that was 30 minutes earlier than usual.  i didn't like it, in fact, i really didn't like it.  my sleep was too important and my bed was way too comfortable. 

in those early days, our 3 children (clara wasn't here yet) would pile onto our bed and slip under the covers while one person would read an entire chapter.  most times when it wasn't my turn to read, i would roll over, close my eyes and fall back asleep.  terrible example i know.  i would wake up just in time for us to say a prayer as a family after reading.

at this time, isaac, who was in kindergarten, was just learning to read and struggling with it.  his chapters sometimes took several days for him to read.  but as time went by, he got better and better.  because amelia was so little, nathan and i would take turns saying a couple of words and she would repeat them.  those chapters took a while as well.

we went on that way for quite a while, probably a year or so.  during the first summer break we didn't get up and read and we fell out of the habit.  nathan picked it back up after school had been going for a couple months.  i wasn't quite so annoyed this time, but i did suggest that we all needed to be sitting on the bed and not laying under the covers.  i also suggested that each child would read a verse and the adults would read 2 verses.  

on we read.  by this time, isaac was reading well and amelia could repeat back full sentences instead of one or two words.  i still wasn't super excited about getting up early though and didn't really feel like anyone was getting much out of our reading time.  but i could tell that my husband was trying to follow the counsel of  the prophets and lead our family, so i didn't revolt (openly anyway).

another school year later, found us sitting on the couches in the living room at 6:00 each morning.  i was pregnant with clara and it was hard to get up and get going some days.  jared started reading 2 verses with the mom and dad.  soon isaac followed.  amelia started to read on her own, but struggled to read and pronounce the words. it was about this time that we started having a "group hug" after family prayer each day.

a year and a half ago, we moved our time back again to 5:30 am.  some days i still struggle to pull myself out of bed, but i don't hate it!  we have been getting up early and reading together for about 5 years now.  we've read through the book of mormon twice, the book of mormon stories children's reader thrice, the new testament stories children's reader and we are currently reading the old testament stories children's reader.  I remember the first time we made it through the book of mormon and we started over, the kids were like "what?!, we just finished that and we're going to read it again?"

we now read during the summer break from school.  jared and isaac are reading well.  amelia still struggles but has come a long way.  clara - we're lucky if she doesn't scream the entire time... :)  i think it is time to start her repeating the words.

some mornings are still really hard.  no one wants to get up.  no one wants to read. no one wants to listen.  no one is following along.  some days nathan and i are really good about asking the kids questions about what we are reading and trying to explain the gospel concepts we are learning about.  some days we read what is written, say our family prayer, have our group hug and move on. 

i hope this isn't coming off as a brag session - that is not how i've intended it.  as i have been typing this, it is amazing to me at how far we've come.  i think it is about progress and setting a good example for our kids. it's about creating good habits and bonds that last forever. i take none of the credit for any of this.  i am grateful that my husband took the initiative to get us started and has kept us going.  he is the first one up every morning!  

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i'm glad that most mornings i don't hate that alarm going off at 5:30.  hopefully at some point in the very near future i can take advantage of the opportunity that jared is offering me - 30 minutes of his undivided attention first thing in the morning.  because our personalities can be so similar, we really need this time together to bond and he needs the time to be heard and understood.  i really need to take advantage of this time i am being offered with him!!  i really believe that his motivation to do this has been an answer to prayer.   i just hope he continues to be motivated to get up and get me going until i can learn to love getting up at 5 am.  i don't have can't waste 5 years getting used it.  

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