Henry gives the corner of my eye sandpaper-tongue kisses. I chuckle, trying not to move. This is the signal for Aria to roll over off her back, stretch, and groan. Then she huffs morning collie breath in my face. She knows I’m awake. I stretch and groan; an exercise made easier by the sunlight streaming through my blinds. All fifteen parakeets begin chorusing their demand to have the cage covers removed. I place both feet on the warm spot of carpet Aria has just vacated.
“Good morning, everyone.”
I don the world’s rattiest bathrobe and perform morning rituals. The robe wasn’t always so shabby. About twenty years ago, it was the plushest robe in blue and pink, plaid flannel over thick white terrycloth. It was part of Victoria’s Secret’s Authentic Country Cotton collection; a Christmas present from Will. This robe and I have seen a lot together, but we’re keeping those secrets.
When Joshua was little, he used to wrap himself in it, tie the sash, and trail a good three feet of it on the floor. Except for the feminine color, he looked like a prince in royal robes. He would hold the collar in both, little hands and say, “It smells like you, Mommy.” When he puts it on now, the hem ends just below his knees.
I head to the kitchen to make tea. Henry and Aria sneak back to the bedroom to recapture the fading essence of Sunday morning. She curls up in the corner while he walks around her head and shoulders. After a few nuzzles, Henry grooms Aria’s paws and snout and she licks behind his ears. I believe she gets the better end of the deal as Henry looks like he’s been drowned after a slaking by her tongue.
Finally, I’m in possession of a tub of tea. We’re Americans; we don’t do anything small including our teacups. Will purchased honey sold on the side of the road in Hartville. It’s in a small Ball jar with a masking tape price tag. This makes it taste homier for some reason. The flavor is between clover and dessert wine and compliments my tea perfectly. Gotta love roadside stands; the best pies, corn, eggs, and honey can be found there.
Tea in hand, animals in tow, I head for the living room to read the Bible. That’s when I hear the familiar metallic creaking of Joshua’s loft bed. He’s coming down the ladder. I quickly intercept him in the hallway and guide him to my room. A morning nap in my bed will buy me some more quite time.
As for Will, he’s dead to the world in the back bedroom, banished due to ungodly snoring. The bed is a brand new, high-quality mattress from The Original Mattress Factory, so keep your scorn in check. It’s not as if I exiled him to the garage. Besides, he’s concluded that it’s easier to sleep a few nights alone than not at all with my elbow constantly in his side.
So, I’m guaranteed an hour of peace and solitude. I really could use more sleep, but I hate to waste the morning. Who knows what miracles, spectacular or ordinary, may take place? Think I’ll stay awake and find out.