Typically mornings in my house have a certain rhythm: the high and low pitch of my husband and two-year-old breathing (or snoring) in harmony, the flushing stream of vapor from the humidifier, the occasional thump as I stub my toe on a miniature car or action hero, the edge of the bed, or some other object in the obstacle course of my house.
I usually spend my mornings alone with a crowd of thoughts, words, writing, as I sit at my computer, switching back and forth between emails, the morning news on my smartphone, and a list of tasks in my head I need to complete before our collective late morning dance out the door to work and school.
But this morning was slightly different. This morning between the shadows and single light I work by, there were footprints; bright colorful remnants of baths the night before, the memories of laughter and water splashing, sleepy eyes and happiness.
Sometimes when I wake up, the sunless morning feels slow, a calm waiting against the cool wet window pane. I scribble down words as my writing finds its way in the dark of the early day. This morning between writing and sunrise, I stumbled into colorful footprints, bright beautiful interruptions of my quiet thoughts. Those footprints kept me company, distracted my anxious “writer’s block”, warmed my bare feet tapping, my still fingertips.
I left the strand of toys in the tub while I showered, washed myself with those footprints, my feet standing in between the busy circles and squares, the Legos and plastic rings, the water splashing with colorful joy, remnants of happiness, their childhood happiness—and mine.