A Morning Moment

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Our morning routines have become more scheduled than they every have in the past. We wake up at exactly 7am and with the dogs clicking on the floor behind me, I open Hayes’s door and say “good morning buddy”. Within seconds he gives the cutest squeak of joy, which I pretend is for me, but I really know is his excitement to see the dogs. After he giggles and reaches for the dogs, I change his diaper and bringing him into our bedroom to feed with Megan. After some more giggles and cuddles in bed, we all walk downstairs to let the dogs out, turn on the radio, and start the water boil for coffee.

Most mornings we just let NPR play in the background and switch off keeping Hayes from grabbing the trash can, the dogs, or the countless other messes he could get into. Or if I am taking the morning shift and Megan is working, he gets in his Spoon walker and slams into everything in the house. Either, way his entire morning is just filled with joy and discovery.

One morning last week, I had a moment that just hit me. The morning news was going on about the previous night’s presidential debate. It was mostly a summary of who said what and just an open conversation about how low the bar for politics had dropped. It was in that moment, standing in the kitchen making coffee, that I realized just how much all of this political negativity was adding up in me. I began to think back to all of the recent family dinners with relatives and friends and how the conversations were unavoidable consumed by Trump and Clinton. The daily news pop-ups about the latest group Trump had offended or the email uncovered from Hillary. Without much forethought, the day before, I had just deleted the facebook app off my phone so I didn’t have to see the feed of angry posts. Just as I was thinking about all of that, Hayes ran his spoon cart right into the back of my heels and sent a shock of pain right up my legs. I instantly wanted to react and yell at him. I obviously couldn’t and wouldn’t yell at him, but as I looked down to try and calmly ask him not to destroy my legs he looked up at me with the most pride-filled look in his eyes and his arms stretching up to me. In that moment, I realized he was living in a completely different world than the rest of us. He was living in a world of beauty, joy, golden retrievers, and no sense of real pain. As I picked him up and we swung around the kitchen, I was transported out of the news cycle and was brought into the world of beauty and peace he lives in. It was one of the most meaningful moments I have had as a dad. But that moment was immediately followed by the sadness of the realization that someday he will grow older and he will know what racism, hate, and anger feels like. I want to shield him from all of it and with everything in me protect this precious world he currently lives in, but I know this is a moment in life that every parent must go through. I am only passing through this point in life as my parents and grandparents had done before me. But before I put him down, I spent one more moment hugging him before he squirmed out of my arms and crawled after one of the dogs. Even though I knew his world would change and there was nothing I could do about it, I was left feeling the sense of joy and humanity that only a toddler can bring you into.

So on this middle day of the week, if you are feeling the weight of this season, I hope you find some way to see a view of the world with that kind of innocence. Make a point to look for it. It may just help lift your spirits and help you find joy in the every day. Happy Wednesday, November 8th is almost here… so go vote.

Leave a comment

  1. Such a sweet sweet moment, and a reminder, thank you for sharing it with us. Every morning i start in my bed with breakfast and watching bbc, to catch up with the debates and it all. It has affected me in an a way as well, i believe the whole world even.

  2. Such a beautiful post… i’m up from canada, and the election still affects us all here very much. it’s easy to get discouraged. but kids are a great reminded of what’s really important in life 🙂

  3. I got out my absentee ballot earlier this week and it was such a relief. I have avoided watching the debates as they are just a media circus – neither of the candidates have an opportunity to really dig into their policies. One tip I can give is listen to podcasts, NPR’s Politics podcast in particular. Listening to intelligent people talk about this campaign is so refreshing. It has been such an impactful campaign on the demographics of voters and the political climate in our country. And yes, NOvember 8th is almost here 🙂

  4. Love this. Parenthood is filled with so many memorable moments, made all the more wonderful by recognizing them when you see them. And so true about the negativitity on facebook. I may have to delete my app, too.