Sunday, February 17, 2008

How I Became a Morning Person

I hate early wake ups. I talk to my alarm the way an abusive coach talks to his most undisciplined player. Curse words are thrown its way, it beeps back at me, I take a swing at it to shut it up and then… reluctantly, I get up.

A few minutes later I stumble downstairs, grab a cup of strong black tea and a bowl of cereal. Out the door and towards the bus by 6:55 AM, and proceed to try and sleep for the 50 minute trip through the congested, loud and polluted streets of Quito.

It doesn’t have to be this way ya know. The center operates three campuses: one next to our house, and two downtown. And somehow, 1/3 of us were selected to be on the early wake up crew. I prayed with every ounce of my being, expended all my capital with God- begging for the shift that would allow me to sleep in an hour later. No dice.

And yet, I have taken a special liking to my kids that I work with downtown in La Marin in the mornings. They are more urban- more edgy, spunky, and full of so much attitude. And there is something about that which makes me love them even more. Sincerely.

While the early morning clamor of the kids has the ability to devastate some, it somehow ignites a flame in me. That first moment I see some of my students, the whole morning does a brilliant 180 degree turn.

You have to picture it: the kids spot us entering, and all the cacophony ceases and a beautiful symphony begins: beautiful little voices screaming your name as they try and position themselves first in line for hugs. And I am not talking little hugs here. I am talking about the type where they run full sprint, fling themselves into your waiting arms and wrap their little hands around your neck and seem to never let go.

And as luck would have it, these kids are only there in the morning hours when we are. If I had the afternoon shift instead, our paths would never cross.

It’s 7:50 AM, there are hoards of screaming children, giant bear hugs, and some of the freshest cut sarcasm being dished my way from some of the tiniest children. This is my life, these are my mornings. An hour of extra sleep would be nice. But at the cost of missing this? No thanks.

Keely getting some of that early morning love from the kids.


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La Chama said...

Sooo cute!

Jen said...

strong black tea. awesome!