Let's start with the mundane. Daily life. Family structure. Habits. Plans. Focus.
Morning Time (MT) at our house begins with Morning Meeting. Think of this as the announcements at church.
Sometime during the morning I call out, "10 minutes till Morning Meeting." At this point the kids start finishing the chapters and lessons they have been working on all morning from their daily school lists. I let them work on those lists however they like just so they finish the list each day.
I call out MM and then I get busy and forget but eventually I say, "Everyone on the couch for Morning Meeting." These days that is just Andrew and Alex but once upon a time it meant 9 people gathered around: high school students, middle-schoolers, elementary, kindergartners, toddlers and babies. With that many lives to juggle, and often only one car, it was imperative that we touch base on everyone's plans for the day.
In fact, because of having so many people, I learned that the only thing that really matters is what we need to do TODAY. Tomorrow is another day. I will deal with that tomorrow. Of course, sometimes it helps to talk about tomorrow but there is no reason at all to talk about the day after tomorrow; each day has enough trouble of its own.
This is the time I ask the children about certain habits that are important to me but not, apparently, to them.
"Did you brush your teeth? Go do it then."
"What did you read in your devotions?"
My mothering intuition has reached the stage where I rarely have to wait for answers to any question. I can read pauses. I can say "no" 10 minutes before I am asked a question.
Alex often says, "I wish you hadn't had so many boys before me." When it comes to boys there is nothing new under the sun. Poor Alex doesn't stand a chance but at least he has learned to laugh about it.
During the MM part of Morning Time we discuss our day, the use of the car and any unusual events. I may bring up something that has been bothering me like people going to bed at night without straightening up or bathroom hygiene, although for all my bragging about motherly skill, I still don't know how to keep the boys' bathroom clean or what to do with toddlers. The good news is that even lots and lots of toddlers, say 9 of them, grow up and then sadly there is nothing funny to talk about with your husband as you drift off to sleep each night, that is until your grandchildren start saying funny things.
My son recently told me how his wife had left him in charge of the boys while shopping and by the time he noticed they were being super quiet they had emptied every single food item in their pantry onto the floor. When his wife came home he sent them all out to the beach while he cleaned the kitchen for several hours. Isn't that the cutest toddler story? Toddlers are adorable, you just don't feel it until you don't have any.
Sometimes we go to Sam's Club early in the morning and inevitably someone comes on the loud speaker and says, "Time for Morning Meeting." We all smile. We know how important it is to discuss the mundane daily needs of a business or a family and for mom (the boss) to communicate standards of behavior and outline habits or just find out what is going on.
Suggestion of the Day for Morning Time Memory:
This is our current memory piece from Shakespeare's Macbeth. I highly recommend learning one passage from each Shakespeare play studied.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28
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