My son is an early riser.
I can hear him turn on the television at the break of dawn.
A deafening thunder rattles me out of sleep. Then I hear him scrambling to find the controls before the volume comes down to a near silence.
I then hear my other two children, eight and three, wander down the stairs. The dog yelps and my wife, lying at my side, groans out just audibly, “The dog wants to go out,” before she pulls the pillow over her head again.
Then I hear my own footsteps going down the stairs and think, we need to get rid of the TV.
Or have the in-laws move in.
My mother-in-law is visiting along with my granny-in-law, and the mornings have been blissful.
Every morning my six-year-old son wakes up his great-granny and they sneak down the stairs, stealthily, with their fingers on their months to say to each other, “Shh…”
No matter what then happens, I ignore it because there’s an adult downstairs and two in back up.
I stay in bed.
And an hour later I walk down the stairs and into the kitchen to gapes and comments about the sleepyhead.
I say heartily and smilingly, “Has anybody fixed me some breakfast?”
Their stern faces do a lot of talking.
So I pour my own coffee.