Every morning, sometime between five and six AM, I can hear Kina through the wall that separates our two bedrooms, furiously banging around as she prepares her morning tableau. I try to sleep through this, but I know that the banging is invariably followed by the sound of her running through the kitchen to our room, her entrance statutorily permitted by her wake-up clock. As the light streams through our door, she breathlessly announces that “the light is green” and that she has a beautiful surprise for her mother. Laurea, still groggy, follows her into her bedroom, where she is granted the very first look at Kina’s daily panorama. Recently, this panorama has included:
an array of treats, including various ice creams, three kinds of cake, and four pieces of chocolate
a picnic blanket on which various delicious foods are laid out for Mommy’s enjoyment
Three cups full of green puffballs placed at the center of her room
Two Lego telephones, each with a tree attached to it, for important conversations
It is not always true that we are surprised by Kina’s offerings in the morning, but the ritual she employs in their construction is impressive, and it’s good to start the day by honoring that ritual (rather than, say, by watching her go to the bathroom). It’s not like anybody else I’ve ever lived with has offered me an ice cream cone while I’m still asleep. The gesture is touching, even if I’m far too sleepy to enjoy an ice cream—and the ice cream is made of wood.
Kina is a morning person. Laurea is a morning person. I am not a morning person. I appreciate the work of morning people—and the role they play in the food cycle—but I am glad that it’s Laurea and not me who gets first peek at Kina’s creations—even though I’m mildly disappointed that Kina’s excitement at her morning’s work is diminished by the time I walk into the room. I can’t imagine anymore what it must be like to wake up and jump out of bed with excitement while exclaiming, “I must rearrange my entire room so that I can impress my mother!” I must have, once upon a time. I remember the weird forts and stuffed animal dioramas, the sense that what I had created was novel and important. It used to feel good to wake up and be a genius. I get that vicariously now, through Kina, and I never want her to lose that. Maybe she can be a quieter morning genius? Let’s not split hairs.