This morning I woke to the sound of tiptoeing feet padding down the hall. Cracking an eye, I could see that it was 6.23am. I sighed, then realised it was practically time to get up anyway. Closing my eyes for a blissful last few seconds, I waited for a small person to creep into my side (always my side) of the bed, cuddle up close, and put their freezing cold wee feet on me.
But, nobody appeared. And then I realised, Kate had crept past our room and into Innes’ room. ‘Innes, Innes. Can I come in for a cuddle?’ And despite his protests of ‘it’s too urly’ and ‘my still sleeping’ a cuddle is exactly what she got. I lay there, for maybe five minutes, listening to their chatter – I couldn’t hear much of what was said, just the sounds of their laughter and their early-morning conversation.
And then, they came. Innes came, inexplicably, with a wooden saw. Climbing into bed, he sawed my face. ‘My got a saw, my cut you in Mummy-half’ he said, in the most threatening voice a two year old can muster. He’s going to be one to watch when he’s older, I’m telling you. And then Kate clambered onto my pillow and said, in her cheeky-monkey voice ‘Mummy, you look like Pudsey Bear and you have the voice of a crow!’
By now, Dave and I are, like most mornings, crying with laughter and grinning. Waking up with small children is somewhere between completely exasperating and the best gift you’ve ever been given. Today was definitely at the very far end of the gift spectrum. We got ready, whilst Innes sawed us all in half and Kate sang made up songs to make us smile.
These are the small things. But they are very, very big things too. The nothing but everything moments that make you heart swoop and soar, and break a little bit too. Because time moves so slowly some days, when they are small, but then they grow, just a little, and you feel time begin to tilt, and speed up, and you realise you wished some of the boring, rainy, dreary, jigsaw-nappy-laundry days away.
And I don’t believe in God, or anything like him, but, to whoever is up there – thank you, oh thank you, for mornings like these.