Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not being selfish, and being happy about it

I don't like to get up in the morning. Even in Germany.
Learning to sleep while holding a baby!
A friend reminded me of the beauty of a blank page, opened up before you and ready for you to make your mark. So here, if you’ll be so kind as to humor me, I pen my thoughts.

They have certainly been tending in the direction of contentment, the every-day, babies—one in particular—marriage, housekeeping, the purpose of life, etc. Yes, no small list. I am on day 2 of normal life after a long visit with my family. To be sure, yesterday morning was not so pleasant when I had to get up at the crack of dawn and stay up, having no grandma to give the baby to in order to steal a few more hours of precious sleep. I am thinking that I really want one of those alarm clocks that slowly brighten your room to wake you with light. Sounds nice. Because if one must wake up early, I feel it is best to do it in the most pleasant way possible, and for me, that means I need to get up and get ready before Seb. But until then, I’ll continue to love my husband dearly when he gets up with the little guy (like this morning), always convinced that I need more sleep, and I’ll continue to try to make mornings more lovely, even if they are truly not.

But it’s strange, mornings really are beautiful, even if I foolishly persist in thinking the opposite. I remember my dad saying once, years ago, that he loved the mornings more than any other time of day because of the stillness, the stars still hanging in the sky and the way the earth sounds when it is still waking. He never gets a lot of sleep. My dad wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and goes outside to milk the cows. Mom helps him.

I want what they have.

I could be wrong, but think what they have is 26 years of being parents under their belts. They’ve realized that there is more to life than sleep, that, with 6 kids, you just can’t be selfish and be happy. I have been learning this lesson since the day I married my husband just a year and 8 months ago. It is truly remarkable that the best things in our lives are usually the hardest, like being pregnant, and having a newborn that never sleeps, or a little guy that wants desperately to stay forever next to that bookshelf and caress the overtly colorful spines of Ovid, Livy and various other classics planted in their proper place on the shelf. He is his father’s son.

So today, among my usual thoughts about laundering diapers, cleaning the toilet and washing dishes, I’m also thinking about how much I love that one cup of coffee, and my sweater that Cody got me in Ireland 3 years ago, and how my baby spent 20 minutes examining—or trying to pull out—my eyelashes this morning.

Here’s to getting up early (for me, code for: not being selfish), and being happy about it.


  1. Love this post! And how true it is that marriage is about not being "selfish"--in so many ways! Learning to let your own desires go so that your husband can fulfill his, letting the very "me-ness" go for the sake of "we-ness". It's the hardest and most rewarding thing there is.

    Also getting up in the morning is hard and not easy. But it's a little bit easier when the sun is shining.

  2. I love it Mary. The more and more I'm in this world I realized that we are all searching for meaning and happiness. It is the small things that we have to take joy in. I love my cup of coffee in the morning, and the stillness as well. Keep enjoying the little things! They make life worth it!