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Easy Like Sunday Morning

Everyone loves the weekend; I know we’re not alone in this. Weekend mornings in particular. This is a universal truth, but it must be especially so for those who work Monday through Friday, for students, and for families. The weekend provides the needed break and rest from the workday world. 

Saturday and Sunday are the best days of the week. We get so much joy and have so much fun being together as a family. On these mornings, the stressors of life fall away. We are home, which for us is the place we most desire to be. We are relaxed, watching our kids be kids, watching the snow fall outside, enjoying the familiar voices of Weekend Edition on the radio, enjoying that comforting cup of creamy coffee, often making special breakfasts of waffles or pancakes, and enjoying each others’ company.

On Sunday mornings, we enjoy this kind of morning. We bask in it until one or the other of us looks at the clock and the spell is broken. We’ve got an hour to leave for church, and we must dive in to getting ready if we are to have any hope of being at church on time. Ratchet up the stress. 

One of us jumps in the shower while the other one picks out three sets of kid’s clothes. Someone wakes up Jamiee and gets her started toward readiness. There are shoes to put on. Matching pairs of socks to find. We trade shifts in the shower and the other one starts getting Sarah and the boys into their clothes. I can’t find my belt. Stephanie decides against an outfit once it’s on and changes into another, and another. It’s about time for Sarah’s morning nap so she’s crying, but we still have to go. They boys are being crazy. I’m taking too long and not thinking ahead. Stephanie is blow-drying her hair, applying makeup.

I’ve learned from past mornings. Or I like to think I have. In the past, once I’m ready and the kids are ready and Stephanie is still blow drying, I have just gone out to the car, got the kids buckled in, started it, and idled in frustration. Stephanie has this childhood memory of being late to get ready on Sunday morning and of being left behind as the family went to church without her. This was not a good memory for her, and I’ve just caused her to relive it. That makes for a good morning.

On subsequent Sunday mornings I’ve changed tactics and waited upstairs, totally relaxed and acquiesced to the idea of being late, applying no pressure to hurry whatsoever, only to frustrate her further and be accused of lollygagging. I haven’t learned anything.

We’ve been moments away from being ready, only to realize that I can’t find my belt. Can’t find my wallet. Can’t find my keys. And then Stephanie helps me look, because I never seem to be able to find anything. We turn the house upside down. We get stressed. The house becomes more of a disaster. We’re late. Later still.

There have been mornings like these where Stephanie and I are both snapping at the kids with voices raised louder than we intend. We push too hard, trying to motivate the kids to hurry when they seem to have no concept of the idea. We almost immediately feel terrible about this, because this is completely against our parenting philosophy. We get bugged at each other, and this is not how we’ve agreed to relate to each other. By the time we’re all buckled into the car and backing out of the driveway, all I want is peace. No kids talking. No radio playing. I want everyone to shut up for a minute.

And I realize that the hour before we leave for church has become my least favorite hour of the week. And that thought startles me. My favorite morning of the week. My favorite day of the week. My least favorite hour of the week.

We value going to church together as a family. We don’t look at it as a chore, a burden, or an obligation. For us being involved in church is family time as well, it’s just our larger family of faith, and we don’t want to miss it. It just seems to be that transition from weekend morning to dressed for church that kills us.

We’ve tried laying out clothes the night before. We’ve tried waking up earlier. Starting to get ready earlier. Going to bed earlier on the night before. Nothing works, and I suppose the real reason for this is that ultimately we’re treating the morning like a weekend morning. We’re not sure what the solution is other than to recognize it’s an issue and keep a sense of humor about it.

And sometimes, when we’re twenty minutes late for Sunday school and everyone is bugged at everyone, the only thing to do is stop at the local donut shop, sit together, enjoy some doughnuts, and some peace, and love on each other for a while.

Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 07:40PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | CommentsPost a Comment

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