Letters to Hadley: Mornings

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who made the morning and spread it over the fields. Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness." -Mary Oliver

Dear Hadley,

It's 7:15 a.m. and I just got back from a run along the lake. I passed a young mom pushing her still-sleeping brown-haired daughter in a stroller. It made me think of you. I wondered if someday you'll love running, like I do.

I'm sitting in my living room now, cup of coffee in hand, stretching my legs and watching the world slowly wake up. The trees are still. The morning sky is the same color of clear blue as your eyes. Everything is quiet. I love the sound of nothing.

You're one time zone ahead of me, but I'm picturing you in your bunk bed and I'm betting you're still asleep. You are quite the sleeper, Hadley. I am, too. But your mom, before she was a mom, was the best sleeper of all. When we were younger, she'd sleep so hard and so late. I remember going into her room on weekend mornings and begging her to "wake up! wake up!". I still remember the way her long arms and legs looked as they hung haphazardly over the side of her bed, all bendy and beautiful, unmotivated to move. She'd eventually drag her sleepy body downstairs and we'd lay side by side on the couch, eating Lucky Charms straight from the box. We were too tired to deal with spoons and bowls and milk.

Maybe, when you're a little older, you and your sister will eat cereal straight from the box while you try to wake up, too. Heavy eyes and sleepy limbs, all tangled together on the couch for Saturday morning TV. I think you'll love the feeling of mornings that drag on and on, without plans, without urgency. Those kind of mornings are still my favorite.

Some mornings, though, I hope you try to get up early and find time to just be alone. Before the day begins, before people start really moving and messing with your solitude. It's the best time for thinking or writing or just being. Soak up the quiet. And try to carry little pieces of that morning calm with you as you move through your day. It will keep you sane.

I love you, little one.

Aunt Liz

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