This morning, like most mornings, I was involuntarily awoken at 6am.
This isn't the first involuntary wakeup of the night, but it is the last.
This is the one where the bundle of boy is beaming. Crawling across my head, eating keys from my bedside table, and making noises that signal a general zest for life. There is no going back to sleep from here. It is now officially daytime. I begrudgingly pull my self out of warm blanket nest. I do not share Noah's enthusiasm for 6am.
But we leave the room to give wife/mama whatever precious sleep we can afford her.
After changing nappy, opening blinds, and observing sun, we grab keys, open car and drive toward beach.
We stop in at favourite coffee spot, look at all the exciting things on the walls while double-shot latte is made, then walk across the road towards the ocean.
As soon as Noah can see that big body of blue, something shifts in him. He is in my arms, and he starts to rock back and forth and stick his tongue out. A dog trots by. It is almost too much. Delight swells within small body and a squeal of excitement bursts forth. He is literally having spasms of joy, just looking at the big world.
We sit on a step near the sand. This boy - who spends most mornings commando crawling around at home, trying to eat scraps from the bin, whipping DVDs off the shelf, messing with the recently alphabetised vinyl collection or climbing up the stairs - sits still for a moment, taking in the enormous body of water before him. People walking their dogs pass by and he stares in absolute fascination.
After a while we move down to the sand. Small fingers drag through it, hold it, squeeze it, put it in mouth. I place him on my shoulders and we walk down to the water's edge and watch the waves come lapping in and out.
He smacks his lips together over and over as we walk back along the sand, relishing in the simple sound and feeling of lip-smacking.
When we journey back home to wife/mama my heart is full.
Mornings like this don't just redeem the time I would have chosen to spend in bed if I could.
They teach me how I could start every day.
Not necessarily at the beach. Or with sunlight.
But by seeing the wonder in all things. Remembering what a delight it is to smack lips and watch dogs and move through the different sites and textures of the big world.
Too often I start days thinking about bills to pay or tasks to finish or cleaning to be done or broken things to fix or people to please or shoulds to feel guilty about or blahdy blah blah...
But, starting the day with a child's set of eyes alongside mine reminds me
we all start every day in a big, amazing world of beauty and possibility
and there are a lot of simple things
to delight in
to squeal about
to be fascinated by.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning...
- Lamentations 3:22-23