The morning wrongness, the clumsy confusion of standing upright and using my hands to do complicated and important things, is usually smoothed over by my favorite man. He eliminates the need for jarring alarm clocks because he sings me awake.
He makes coffee, a difficult morning thing to do. I’d simplified coffee-making before we landed here together in this house, having pushed aside my Plastic Guilt for the convenience of a Keurig. I can push a button for coffee, of course, but this man pushes the button and adds the cream and gets it all the way to the bedroom without spilling before singing me awake. He hands me hot coffee, and I drink it. All I have to do is sit up.
Before I even sit up, this man has walked the beautiful dog. They have found a spot where the dog feels okay about pooping. He has fed the dog and has given him a morning treat of good stuff stuffed in toys to chew.
He has made daughter-friendly breakfasts and has made daughter-friendly talk about the day, I suspect always about others’ days and not his, and he has said “I love you” to whatever daughters walk out the door before I am awake. He would say “I love you” to the smallest one, too, the one who doesn’t walk out the door alone often, but he is saving that out-loudness until she understands that the words don’t come with expectation.
I have been alone for a few days, doing just a few of the things he does every day. The beautiful dog is patient with me in the mornings, and the small daughter is, too. Afternoons’ and evenings’ doings are easy, but mornings’ are not. When he’s here, I do what I can to help these full mornings mellow into less selfless days for him and hopefully some downright lazy evenings: the mini-fridge lives on the screened porch for a reason.
I tell him I appreciate him, and I do the things he’d prefer not to do when I know what those things are. I usually manage plumbing and things with engines and tires. I tell him I love him so often that the phrase means new things with new inflections. I cook what I know he likes to eat, and what the daughters like to eat when they are with us and I don’t cook very smelly German food. I sometimes dust the books and the artifacts of his so-cherishable life and I try to put them back always in the same places so that he can find them the next time that book or that thing is relevant to a conversation or a class. I always respect his self-ness. I hug and kiss and hug some more.
Every day, forever, please.