For almost a decade I woke up at four a.m. so that I could get to work on time. On the weekends I liked to sleep in. This worked great until I adopted my sweet baby boy, Tyler. Once he got used to waking up at a certain time, I wasn’t allowed to sleep in. Even on weekends he would bop me on the forehead until I woke up. Through narrowly cracked eyes, I glimpsed his smile.
Instead of getting upset, I’d drag myself out of bed. With my eyes closed, I’d feed him and make coffee for myself. Once I had poured a cup of coffee he’d tell me it was time to go outside and greet the morning. During the summer he sprawled in his own chair and enjoyed witnessing the world wake up. When it got cold, he wanted to share body heat and snuggle under a heavy blanket.
The following is a post that Tyler dictated for his blog, Tyler’s Tails.
Wake Up! by Tyler
A few years ago Mommy and I lived in an apartment that had a wonderful deck that overlooked a lake. I spent endless hours people and animal watching from my chair. On the weekends, I always made sure I invited Mommy to join me. I liked watching the world wake up with her.
One crisp fall morning, Mommy and I were on the deck cuddling under a big warm quilt. It was so early the stars winked at us. Although, I don’t think Mommy noticed because she kept dozing off and was in danger of spilling her coffee!
A faint sound echoed across the lake. I must have fallen asleep because my ears perked up and my nose began to sniff even before my eyes cracked open. What was that? I wondered, peeking at Mommy. Had she heard it too?
She looked at me and asked, “Was that a bird?”
I scented the air. When I do this, Mommy says I look like a fireplace bellows. She’s so silly. I drew in more of the early morning smells. It’s a bird–and something else!
It was still very early. The stars were sparkling. The geese were sound asleep, floating near the shore. Strident warning calls rang out. The geese roused themselves, honked and looked around as they tried to figure out what was wrong. The biggest goose flapped his wings, honked, and slowly swam toward the center of the lake. The others followed, complaining the whole way. The warning call came again and all the geese and a few ducks watched something to the west.
Mommy and I leaned forward in our chair and strained to see what I smelled.
A robin alighted on a fence post. She ruffled her feathers and sang out a warning to everyone in the area. I don’t think Mommy speaks robin, but I do. I can’t believe my ears, the robin must be joking!
A few seconds later she flew two fence posts down and continued warning the lake animals. The geese honked and a few ducks quacked, adding to the cacophony of the other animals the robin had woken. The robin flew down two more fence posts.
Finally we saw what the uproar was about–a coyote! The robin was telling the truth. The coyote ambled down the sidewalk looking rather annoyed with the robin who was foiling his chance for a big breakfast. He closed the gap between them, and she moved two fence posts away and continued her warnings.
Mommy whispered, “I don’t believe it!”
Me either, Mommy . . . me either.
We watched this captivating pair until they were out of sight. The robin continued to shout her message, ‘Wake up! A coyote is coming to eat you for breakfast! Be safe! Wake up!’
Several minutes later the robin’s warning faded. The animals around the lake quieted back down. Still floating in the middle of the lake, the geese and ducks went back to sleep. The stars glowed brightly and the moon smiled down on us.
Mommy and I looked at each other. I could tell we were thinking the same thing. Holy moly! How surreal to see this small robin on a mission. Refusing to stop or give up.
Maybe Mommy does speak robin because she said, “More people need to be like that little bird.”
Isn’t that a peculiar idea? We snuggled back under the blanket and watched the moon go to bed and the sun wake up.
I’ll never forget that morning. It’s just one of many special memories I have of things Tyler and I did together. But, more than that, it was the perfect example of how I need to take advantage of each moment.
Thrive or be breakfast . . . I choose to thrive. What about you? Has anything happened to you that’s forced you to decide to make something in your life more or less important?