birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Same Shit, Different Day

It’s 6:40am. I know where my children are—exhaling man-strength morning breath in my face: “Mama, I gotta poop.” Often this feels like a rude awakening but Pearl is naturally soft spoken, especially early in the morning, so her voice sounds lovely. And, what can I say? She is also exceedingly regular, which is what you want for your child. Despite the nature of the information, her delivery is sweet. She strokes my face with her little four year old fingertips and repeats herself. “Mama, come with me. Clara’s awake and I gotta go poop.” I sleep on the far side of the bed on purpose, so that my kids will bother daddy first when they come in the room in the morning. But they NEVER do. I hold Pearl’s hand to lead her back down the hall to her bathroom, which she shares with little sis Clara. Clara is standing in her crib, looking extra zany with her blond halo of bedhead. Clara typically announces something like, “I dreamed I was a lizard,” or, “I want cheddar bunnies today in my lunchbox,” or, “Pearl’s pooping again.” I open their curtains—they share a bedroom too—and we all sort of wake up and start the day together.

My morning routine is really their morning routine, a checklist of preschool departure preparation: brush teeth, brush hair; sunscreen faces, sunscreen bodies; approve underwear, approve clothes; breakfast (I make), lunch (Dave makes). Keep the mood bright, keep the sister bickering at bay. Swat Dave on the ass through his PJs while we do-si-do around each other in the kitchen and the kids eat. Steal nips of his coffee. Cajole our daughters into clearing their own dishes before putting on their shoes independently.

If I’m lucky I get to brush my own teeth, hair, sunscreen, get dressed concurrently when the kids do. On a good day concealer and dry shampoo make a cameo. If I’m luckier still I get to stay in bed and let the other parent be “lead parent.” Or, miracle of miracles, attend early bird yoga. We recently moved to a new home that faces due East, the house of the rising sun. So I try, no matter what, to spend at least a few seconds greeting each day as the yogis would—with gratitude, with receptivity—arms as open symbolically as they are, physically, for our life together.

Music "123 Forever"

Daybreak