The kid is up.
And what I love about this is that he wants everyone to know he’s up.
So he’s whistling.
Some days this makes me want to climb the walls – when he’s been whistling for hours at a time, my patience for it can run kind of thin – but this morning it made me stop.
He was whistling “Joy to the World.”
I cannot tell you how much I needed this right now.
I generally get up between 4:30 and 5:00 every day – many days to make sure the Nerdy Book Club is up and running with the latest post, but sometimes just to read or grade or see what happened in the world while I was sleeping.
Today I did all those things and I was planning to make some coffee and settled in to finish my book when I read some heartbreaking and unexpected news in my messages. I blinked and blinked as I read it and typed back and forth with my friend who had just learned of her mother’s passing – grateful that I was awake and available on the computer for her to talk to.
All that kept echoing in my head is that tomorrow is never promised.
That thought has been rattling around since Jacqueline Woodson said it on Thursday night when I heard her speak at Penn State Harrisburg.
I was crying then when she said it, too, after she read Each Kindness.
Tomorrow is never promised.
We live our lives and try not to think about our mortality or that of others. We get in routines and ruts and fail to recognize how blessed we are to have each day anew.
We get frustrated easily. We fixate on our to-do lists.
I work hard to focus on things that bring me joy in life. The silhouette of the rooster on a mailbox and the trees in the background against the bright morning sky on my way to work. The happiness of the Weasleys are when I pick up the fish food container. The doggy wiggle that Piper does when I come home — and the giggles that it causes in my son. The books that I can’t seem to turn pages fast enough on this week. The warmth and taste of my coffee on this beautiful fall day. The kiss I got from my husband as he headed out the door this morning when I called him back. The sounds of my friends’ voices. The students who have already been able to tell me that I helped them find The Best Book Ever.
And today, instead of telling him to please stop whistling, I stopped to listen to my son.
And I realized what he was whistling.
And I chose to listen.
This moment won’t happen again.
It is not guaranteed tomorrow. Nothing is.
I will find joy in the moments I am blessed to have.