Nature’s Remedy for Early Rising Children

Taking "shelter" under the tree... a few hours later but it's still pretty!

Taking “shelter” under the tree… a few hours later but it’s still pretty!

I hear the carpet crunch. My heart plummets. Crunching carpet means the kiddos are up. How is it morning already!? There is noooo way I have slept for the recommended 8 hours. When was the last time I slept for 8 hours? Are eyelids supposed to be this heavy? Then a thought crosses my mind, a magnificent thought. It would be absolutely wonderful if the kids spontaneously returned to their bedrooms to silently read until my body naturally woke up. Maybe they will! Maybe today is the day!! Now my hopes are growing. I can feel it. Today’s going to be the day!

I slit one eye open so that I can watch my little cherubs turn around (they are so considerate!) and silently return to their rooms. Wait! They are not returning to their rooms! They are climbing on the bed! I berate myself for getting my hopes up over something that will never happen. I feel the littlest one climb on me and peel my eyelid up only to smile and ask, “Do you wanna build a snowman?” All of us think this is pretty funny but maybe we need a break from Frozen.

The kids inform me of their imminent starvation and sprint downstairs. I roll out of bed, stumble a little bit down the stairs, hand them each a banana and a small cup of chocolate almond milk and kick them out the door. That’s right. If they are going to wake me up ridiculously early they can wait out front while I morph into something that resembles a human being and am ready to converse with other human beings.

Our home faces east and it is really early. Early enough that we haven’t missed the sunrise. The sky is just beginning to shift from hue to hue and the air still smells clean and crisp. The birds are singing from our tree and the grass is shimmering with dew. I grab a drink, open our front windows and sit down. The kids have already inhaled their bananas and chocolate almond milk. I start to shift my thoughts toward more positive things rather than the constant regret that I am no longer upstairs sleeping. As I take deep breaths and tell myself that today will be a good day, I start to listen to what my kids are saying. In the span of time it has taken me to get comfortable an elaborate game has begun to unfold in the most stimulating environment around, good-ole nature.

The gentle summer breeze has become a terrifying storm. The child-size boulders have transformed into a dangerous mountain pass. The tree is their secret forest where they can find shelter. And, the dew-covered grass has become a vast ocean. They are creating, talking, solving problems, and laughing. They are climbing, running, jumping and balancing. They are using their minds and bodies, which is making their hearts happy and light. Their game is evolving under the rising sun and to the sound of birdsong. I’m not sure they could have started this very early day off better.

So, for all those tired parents out there. Especially on weekend mornings when you have a chance to sit and simply be, give nature a chance to entertain your kiddos while you wake-up. It turned out to be a wonderful morning for me and an amazing one for my kids.

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