Monday, October 11, 2010

You know you're getting old when...

Grandparents.  I was fortunate to have good ones who I spent oodles of time with.  And even though they were the best mommom and poppop I could have asked for, there was still something about them that confounded me.  The whole ‘waking up at the crack of dawn even though I’m retired’ thing. 

Please understand, I was busy staying up late studying and working on papers (cough, cough…and talking on the phone to my boyfriend at the time…and reading the latest 800 page fantasy novel published by Del Rey or Tor) and I still had to get up by 7:00 a.m. to get ready for high school/college.  I only dreamed of being graced with the luxury of ‘sleeping in’. 
Yet, every morning, whether weekday or weekend, my mommom would be up before the sun dared to peek over the top of the cemetery near their home, often humming a hymn or two.  She was always certain to get up at least a half hour before my poppop. And I would lie in bed and moan and think to myself, ‘when I retire, I’m going to sleep until noon.’ 
 And so this summer, I had a plan. Heck with waiting for retirement. On the days I didn’t work (I work part time), I was going to sleep in.  My kids are pretty well behaved first thing in the morning and are content to play in their rooms for a while.  Plus they’re old enough that I’m not worried about anyone poking their fingers in outlet sockets or guzzling window cleaner.  I waited eagerly for summer to begin. 
 On the first day of summer, I woke up all on my own, no alarm clock.  I swear I heard a choir of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus!  I examined the bedside clock and gasped in horror.  6:30 a.m.  Same time I got up to take my kids to school.  But I was wide awake!  So I fired up the Keurig and flopped in my chaise lounge (otherwise known as Mama’s Throne) and opened up my laptop.  Ah, my laptop.  My favorite present my husband ever bought me.  And there I was, just after six thirty in the morning, snuggled up with a mug of Donut Shop coffee splashed with a smidgen of half and half.  The only noise in my house or  the entire neighborhood was the happy hum of my computer—I’d found utter delight in the early hours of morning, much like my mommom, who woke up extra early just to have some quiet time with a cup of coffee, instant Taster’s Choice no less <she gags> , and the newspaper. 
 Swirling some caffeinated joy around in my mouth, I checked my email, my blog, Facebook, and last but not least, I proof-read whatever words of fiction I’d conjured the night before.  A bit of Heaven on earth.
Looking back now, far too late to tell her I concur, I’ve discovered my mommom was quite a wise woman.  The wee hours of the morning (as my mommom would say) have turned out to be my moments of peace and sanctuary.  I guess that makes me officially old.  Oh well.  Worse things to be. 
--Suzi Ryan 



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