Not many other people need my attention at dawn. But even a lifetime ago (when I was single, and Solitude was my middle name), I got up at first light. I like the sounds of morning: the humming of the refrigerator, the gurgle of the coffee machine, the swish of the wind coming in over the river. Later in the day these quiet noises are lost.
Thoughts sift down in the early mist, unfrenzied and undisturbed. I need slow time, an input-free oasis, to let perceptions and emotions and ideas emerge from my overloaded brain. In the morning, every now and again, an insight comes to rest on my heart. It's my time to process life.
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Andrew is a night person. My boys are owls, too. Little Guy has been dropping off at 11:30 or so, lately. I am a slime mold by that time of night.
My girls need a solid ten hours of sleep, preferably eleven, to avoid ursine behavior. The correlation between sleep deprivation and irritability runs strong around here, so I crank up the Mean Mommy Machine when people aren't in bed on time. Their sleep makes a difference in my day.
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During the day I am a master multitasker, but at night it is hard to even task. I have a Cheshire Brain which fades into nothingness at dusk, leaving behind only the half-crazed grin of an exhausted parent. Endurance is the watchword of the evening. I help with homework, untangle teen emotions, and hopefully corral my offspring into bed. And then it's quiet. The day is over. We're on our way to morning.