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Morning Person

Maddie is usually the most difficult member of the household to wake up. On school days Cora and I end up in Maddie’s room, snuggled in her bed for a few moments before we get up and get moving. Once Cora’s up she’s up and moving and she’ll be dressed and downstairs in two minutes; Maddie takes exponentially longer and will often come sliding into her seat with sixty seconds to gulp down oatmeal before we leave.

Sometimes, though, she wakes up for whatever reason, and occasionally she’s startled me when I’m downstairs thinking I’m the only one in the house awake; I’ll be doing my devotional or packing lunches and Maddie will pad silently up to me, fully clothed and smiling with pride. These are the mornings I live for.

Yesterday was such a morning.

Maddie had a horrible night with bad dreams that drove her into our room, and I think she heard me get up and moving. Sure enough, she crept into our office while I was checking email and snuggled up, fully dressed and alert. When I went upstairs to get Cora up, Maddie stayed down.

I heard odd sounds from downstairs but couldn’t give it much attention; Cora’s had a very hard week at school and needed a little extra love to get moving. But when I finally came downstairs I saw Maddie standing on a stool in front of our wall-mounted microwave, holding a cereal bowl in each hand.

“Who wants oatmeal for breakfast?” she smiled proudly.

This was the point at which I realized we’ve never talked with the girls about what you can – say, glassware – and cannot – say, metal or wood – put in the microwave.

But I didn’t want to rain on Maddie’s parade by panicking immediately, so I smiled brightly and said, “Hey, look at you! Thanks so much for making breakfast! Tell me all about it.”

“Well,” Maddie preened, “I measured out the oatmeal and the milk and then put the bowls in the microwave. I wasn’t sure how long to cook it, so I started with fifteen seconds, then did five more, then one.”

I looked at the cold bowls.

“You did a FANTASTIC job,” I said. “Let’s just put them in the microwave a bi tlonger.”

And you know what? She DID do a fantastic job. Maddie had found the oats, and the right measuring cup, and the right bowls, and stirred them, and everything. She’d even gotten the girls’ vitamins out. So as we continued the morning I chatted about how long the food should cook, and casually threw in the whole “what not to put in the microwave” lesson. As Maddie sat down to eat, you could see her satisfaction with eating something she’d prepared herself.

I way underestimated that kid – she’d noticed a lot, and made smart choices when she wasn’t sure about something.

Is it too much to hope she’ll be up and cooking again this morning?


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