I sit here at my desk in the early morning of 6:30 A.M. The smell of fresh bread in the air, because either Dad or Mom creaked out of their bed at some ungodly hour to put ingredients in the bread machine, and then to form the dough into loaves when it was mixed, and then, when the dough had risen, to put the loaves into the oven.
I met Dad in the kitchen when he was putting the loaves in, bleary-eyed and bushy-browed without his glasses, dressed in nothing but a t-shirt and towel. “Could you get the bread out in twenty minutes?” he asked.
But when the timer beeped twenty minutes later and I went down to the kitchen to take out the bread, Mom came out, too, wrapped in her blue-flowered housecoat, her dark-and-white hair loose at the sides of her face, arms hugging herself. “You’re up early,” she said.
Huh. Little does she know I’ve been up since five. Well, technically not up, since I spent the first forty-five minutes of my waking time rolling around in my bed, letting my mind wander, praying in the early morning pleasantness of thought and memory. Wondering if I should get up–now perhaps–or now–in just a minute I will–until forty-five minutes had passed and I rolled out of bed, pretending to be sorry for having stayed in it so long.
The pretense is for the strict, school-marmish side of my brain, which decrees that I shall get up every morning at five o’clock, so I have time to write before school. She is scheduled and punitive, that one, but if I act very good and very willing (although a bit faulty and inept) she is soon lulled into thinking I am trying at least, and doesn’t scold.
All while the real me (the one who is lazy and dreamy and doesn’t care about accomplishments in the least) does what she wants when she wants in her own lagging and carefree way. She spends hours dreaming and thinking, that one, builds elaborate castles, deconstructs and refurnishes them regularly. She isn’t good for much except the pleasantness of thought at the end of a dream and, of course, avoiding tasks she knows she should be doing.
Still, I like her better. She has Imagination.
And while I’ve been writing about those two warring halves of my brain, daylight has come. I went down to the kitchen just now and had a fresh slice of homemade bread, butter melting into warmth of yeast-dough, shoving it into my mouth as I climbed the stairs. Chad drove off to work, and Ben and Elizabeth are getting ready to go. Mom and Dad are up, puttering around in the kitchen, having hot cereal and toast before they go out to chore.
7:30 A.M. at the Miller house, and all is well.