Day 11 – Dawn’s Early Light

8 Jul

My dad has been an early riser for as long as I can remember. He wakes up in a cheerful mood with a song in his heart. As a teenager it was a source of frustration for me sometimes. He figured that everyone should be up and about and cheerful about it too.

Through my teenager years and into my early twenties I could sleep the clock around and then some. I can remember sleeping some days until mid-afternoon. I loved my sleep. It got to the point at one time, after I had mono, where I’d go to bed before the sun went down if I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep in the next day. Then, I had children.

From my mid-twenties to my mid-thirties ‘my’ sleep wasn’t a priority. It was all about getting the kids to sleep, and keeping them asleep. As a baby and toddler, Savanna was a great sleeper. When she was big enough to do it, she’d crawl into her own crib at nap time. I thought she’d always be a good sleeper, so if you’ve got a baby like Savanna, don’t be fooled. Once she started school, she suffered insomnia. She struggled to go to sleep, and the longer she lay awake the more worked up she would get. Several nights, we’d go to bed at 11PM and she’d still be staring at the ceiling. Many of those nights she come into our room in the wee hours of the morning crying that she hadn’t been to sleep yet. I think, like many, her mind would go into overdrive when she’d lay down in the quiet and she’d begin thinking about what the next day would hold. Eventually she learned to cope. She wasn’t sleeping any better, but instead of fretting she’d read and listen to music until she was sleepy enough to actually go to sleep.

When she hit middle school and her teenage years, sleep returned. Instead of going to bed early she began sleeping in. Finally, I thought, I can start sleeping in too. But, something strange happened. Even when I wanted to sleep in I couldn’t. Well, I could, but it wasn’t nearly as late or not quite as satisfying like it used to be. Instead of sleeping in until noon or beyond, I could sleep in until nine or ten o’clock. But, from 7:30 on I’d toss and turn and have weird and disturbing dreams. I learned that it just wasn’t worth it.

Now, sleeping in means sleeping until 8AM instead of 6AM, and sometimes, like today, I woke up early and realized that any more time I spent in bed trying to go back to sleep would be fitful and unproductive. So, I got up and enjoyed the quiet of the morning. This morning I did laundry and had coffee while checking facebook. A couple of days ago, while at the cottage with my parents, I got up earlier than everyone else and took my coffee, my dog and my book and retreated to the front porch to read in the early morning sun.

I must admit that, these days, morning is my favourite time of day. I wake up early in a cheerful mood with a song in my heart. I guess I’m still daddy’s girl.

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