I anticipated many things being different once Sheena and I had children. I'm sure many things would have been wrong with us had we assumed nothing would change.
For 9 years I had enjoyed much of the same routine in the morning. Even though where I lived changed, who I lived with changed, what job I would be waking up to head off too (even when there was no job to head off to) changed, and yet the routine stayed pretty much the same.
The day began peacefully. In nine years there had been very few exceptions to that. The alarm would go off, then there was the obligatory shower, and that was followed by the donning of apparel. Once proper, breakfast was always consumed on the couch with the news informing me of all the happenings of the previous day. As a mail man, news also included the incredibly important weather forecast, so I could have some idea of what might happen to me on the rout.
The most important ingredient in all of this is some quiet, a chance to gather myself, think about the tasks of the day, and become mentally prepared. This requires peace: not necessarily quiet, but peace.
For some reason, I did not expect this to change much. I mean, I knew that once the child would awake peace would be gone. I just always thought that I could wake up before any child and run through the routine before they awoke. If they sleep to seven, I can be up at six. Easy.
I never anticipated that a child of mine would wake up every morning at 4:30 and lay quietly in wait for the slightest creak of the floor, or some other indication that I was up, and then belt out with all her gusto, "I'm awake!"
Some mornings I can literally hear the peace shatter.
If anything, my daughter is most like me in the morning. Despite wanting some peace before starting the day, I'm pretty ready and eager to go. You could say that I wake up in first gear. I'm ready. I'm engaged. I just need a little fuel and I'm off.
My wife wakes up in neutral. She could just as easily be put into first, as reverse and back the whole thing into bed for a few more hours.
My daughter wakes up, on most mornings, in third gear: she running at a pace that is hard to catch. However, on some mornings she's already in fourth. This usually only happens when company has spent the night: as anyone who has slept in our basement can attest to. Other mornings she'll wake up in first or second: ready to go, but not up to full speed yet. Sunlight to her is a big green flag waving to start the Formula 1 race that is her day.
What I'm finding, is that on most mornings there is a new peace. It isn't found in weather forecasts, and man on the street reporting. It's found in cuddling on the couch with my daughter, reading a book as she crunches dry cereal form a bowl in her lap. It's found in introducing her to a new cartoon. It's found in trying to navigate down the stairs with a two-and-a-half year old in one arm and a two month old in the other. It's found in being 35 minutes later for work than I would like because I don't want that cuddle to end.
This Christmas our church is pondering the thought that a baby changes everything. This new morning peace is one of the greatest changes a baby has brought into our home. I'm wondering what changes a baby has brought for you.