The aroma circles my head settling in my breath as I push deeper into my pillow; truly the perfect beginning to the day marking the year’s end. It will be the second to last day that I do not have to push myself out of bed in darkness to start the family rising. In two more days, I will resume the position of First Up, nudging the cold, dark house to life. First Up is the person who bumps up the heat, makes the coffee, lets the dogs out, uncovers the cooing birds and breaks open a new day. Today, I hear that the day is broken already.
I lay, eyes closed but awake, body still in deep relax, anticipating rising after the sun to a warm house and cup of coffee waiting. I breathe deeply the coffee aroma and am happy that my husband is First Up. Brad has always been close to nocturnal, a late night man whose morning skills are sketchy. This morning, however, the coffee is on and all is right with the world.
“Damn it!” I hear him burst from downstairs, a string of mutterings following. I imagine
Heavy feet on the stairs and Brad enters our room for a few last items. “Honey, I made a big mess and I’m late and I don’t have time to clean it, I’m really sorry. I laid paper towels down… I love you, Bye.” And he is gone. My body is cooperating under the covers but my mind is ticking; ‘Big mess.’ I wonder exactly how big and will it grow bigger if I leave it for a while?
My old dog begins to pace, click, click, click across the floor. I know this pace. It is the I really need to pee but would never ever disturb you Mom so I’ll be right here when you are ready pace. The little dog pushes out from under his blanket on his bed, shaking his body awake with that ear slapping sound that says, I f I’m up, we’re all up. He begins to scratch rapidly on the side of my bed and I notice the loud cooing downstairs has evolved to squawking.
The chill of the air hits me as I make my way down the stairs and I realize that the heat was not bumped up. Out with the dogs, up with the heat and I lift the cover off the birds. At least the coffee is made. In the kitchen, the island is pushed to one side of the room and a long row of paper towels runs down the center; a brown river following the tile grout line. The coffee aroma fills the room and it is clear the Mr. Morning forgot to put the pot under the coffee maker. A basket of pens and pencils sits on a stack of paper towels and some bills are lying beside the sink. I pick up the wet brown paper towels. Detecting the coffee is still warm, I wonder if the floor is clean enough for a sip. I start a new pot and realize that some people are just meant to be First Up and I am one of them.