I have come to the conclusion that America must be full of worm catchers. In the wee hours of the morning the streets of any American city or town are busy. It never ceases to amaze me how early this country rises.
The Irish are notoriously late risers. I think Irish people are more in tune with the plight of the second mouse, than the early bird.
You know the saying – “The second mouse gets the cheese.”
When visiting Ireland my husband often catches the first morning flight back to the US, so we get up before the birds. In summertime, the sun rises around 4 am in Ireland, so light is no factor in the lack of activity on Dublin streets.
No, it is merely an expression of the genetic composition of the Irish. We love to sing the moon to sleep, and rise long after the birds have started their morning song.
An odd soul wanders in lonely solitude towards the bus stop, as we drive across Dublin suburbia. The quiet of the drive adds magic to misty mornings.
Now that I am a stay-at-home Mom, I tell myself I should get up before the kids and seize my opportunity to exercise alone. Try as I might, a sunrise trot around the neighborhood eludes me. Only angels calling, an early morning work meeting, or a flight at the crack of dawn, could ever encourage me to raise my weary bones, at the unearthly hour of 5 am.
When I worked in Dallas I often had early, early meetings with doctors.
Peeling myself off the bed, at o-dark-thirty in the morning, was a major feat to start any day. I would stare at my puffy-eyed reflection in the bathroom mirror, reflecting on life.
“THIS IS THE LAST MORNING I CAN DO THIS,” I would moan to myself, staring back at the comfort of my tousled bed.
I considered returning for just five more minutes of restful sleep, fully aware of the dangers of letting my head even touch that pillow again.
I pushed on. Make up on, cup of tea in hand, I drove out of our subdivision at a sleepy pace. I have never mastered the art of coffee drinking, which may be the main cause of my morning sleepiness. Anyway, I digress. Back to my twenty mile commute to downtown Dallas.
While rubbing my eyes and smudging my mascara, I slowly merged onto the highway to join the traffic.
“TRAFFIC”, I hear my Irish readers say, “at o-dark-thirty am”.
Yes, traffic and lots of it, sometimes even traffic jams, long before the crack of dawn.
Then to cap it all off, those doctors would be full of the beans, at that unearthly hour of the morning, talking away, sipping their coffees, and munching on their donuts.
I AM NOT FLUENT IN 6 AM TALK. Never have been. Never will be.
And so I would sit, and smile, as I sipped my tea with smudgy eyes, longing for the days when I could stay in bed again.
Since I no longer work outside the home, I thought my wish for a few extra ZZZ’s in the morning might be granted.
Guess what happened!!!!
The Good Lord bestowed upon me a son, a little angel, who loves to wake up at the unearthly hour of o-dark-thirty. He tiptoes down the hall to his mommy, then taps her on the shoulder, gently at first. If she does not respond in the alotted time, he pummels her with a pillow, and stands staring at her as she moans and groans her way into standing.
I stagger downstairs with him, holding his little hand in mine. Then we sit together on the couch and cuddle. As I hold him closely, cherishing these precious moments, I realise the truth.
I have given birth to a TRUE AMERICAN. You know the early-bird, worm-catching kind.
Slán agus beannacht!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom