Our Typical Morning: Springtime

5 o’clock – I’m up early, stretching, writing, and mentally planning my day in the quiet. “Good morning!” I say enthusiastically, wearing a smile, to each new body wakening. Our floors creak – George calls this the “samurai alarm” and it’s more reliable than our dog – so I’m prepared to see a face poke around the wall. I sit, writing, at the table. I love the mussed hair and slack faces that greet me each day.

7 o’clock – My kids wake up slowly, usually between 6 and 7 now, and they will grab iPads to watch for another hour or so, lounging around in the living room. Sometimes one of Wilder’s friends will be awake, and they might actually game together. I dress and grab the dog for a brisk walk around the neighborhood. George usually gets up when I come back, and then we chat while I change clothes and prep for the day too.

8 o’clock – We scrounge up breakfast when the iPad timers kick everyone offline. (If someone needs to finish something, they ask.) When we discussed technology needs, what came up was that the kids needed a prompt to get off, to make space in the day for other things, so this is it. George says goodbye to everyone and heads downstairs to his office. Armed with food, the kids and I gather at the table.

We keep our usual reading time around breakfast throughout the year, skipping a few days when we’re not feeling great or need a break. Offered the choice regularly, the kids always want to keep this element of our day. They love stories! We eat and chat about the day ahead: what should we do? where are we going? We plan what to bring on our adventures, or negotiate terms if there’s hesitation from someone. Then I choose from a stack of picture books, a novel, a history story, or nonfiction books to read while the kids finish eating and, usually, set up a project at the table.

Sometimes there’s a break for trampolining or laps around the house, and I’ll clean up the breakfast things. When reading is through, there’s time for everyone to get dressed, to care for their pets and their bodies.

10 o’clock – We’re ready for something else. If we’re not meeting friends, this is when I’ll set up an experiment or we’ll just head outside to figure out what’s next. It’s different every day. At home, this open space before lunch is when magic happens: projects are launched or completed, play is super active.

12 noon – Now that George works primarily from home, we lunch altogether, then usually complete a lap around our “loop,” a particular swath of neighborhood.

1 o’clock – Another block of free time for all of us. Rosetta often works on her stop-motion videos or sets up elaborate Warriors scenarios in her bedroom. Wilder will work on something in the garage or the desk in his bedroom while listening to music. I will often work on a project of my own, macrame or painting. If the kids can’t find their own work and ask, I will help them set up something to work on, sometimes outside. This time of day at home is slower for us, and we’ll often listen to an audiobook together while we work on our own things. If we’re meeting people to hike, skateboard, or play outdoors, this is when we’ll go.

3 o’clock – iPad timers shut off now, and the kids are almost always ready. They’re excited to see who’s messaged them, and they’ll organize gaming between themselves and/or their friends. If we’re out adventuring, nobody asks me what time it is.

5 o’clock – If one child is in charge of dinner, this is when I’ll ask for help to start cooking. It tends to take longer because the kids like to chat the whole time.

6 o’clock – Dinner

7 o’clock – We figure out what to do after kitchen cleanup. Sometimes board games, sometimes watching a show together, sometimes playing soccer at the field up the hill, sometimes listening to a book (read aloud or audio) and drawing or painting. We usually hang out together.

8 o’clock – Bedtime. The kids get themselves and their pets ready for bed, then George and I will each read aloud to one and lay there til sleep comes. I love bedtime conversations! I almost always fall asleep too, unless I have to work.

9 o’clock – Kids asleep, George has his alone time downstairs, watching TV or reading a book. Sometimes I’ll wander down for awhile, but more often I am asleep.

And that’s our day, rinse and repeat. It feels really calm when I write it, but there are still fights and fart sounds and people jumping around the living room all throughout the day. Getting outside really affects our ability to regulate bodies and emotions, so that’s been my focus this time of year. I love the seamless indoor-outdoor seasons.

What does your day look like? Do you organize it intentionally or just let it unfold?

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