During the daily morning routine of getting ready for school and work, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” came on the radio. I turned the music up and blasted out the song at the top of my lungs while boogying around the kitchen.
My children at first looked shocked, but then started to smile.
Smiles in the morning in my house are non-existent. Trying to wake my sleeping babes while I take a shower, feed the dog, let the dog out, feed the cat, wipe up cat pee (I have old cats), empty the dishwasher, make the beds, let the dog back in, get them dressed, get myself dressed, do Vivien’s hair, make their breakfast, force them to eat breakfast, try to shove some form of nutrition into my face, get their shoes on, get their jackets on, get their hats and mittens on, start the car so it’s warm, wipe up toothpaste, wash dirty dishes left in the sink, wipe down counters, make sure lunches are in backpacks, make sure homework is in backpacks, put the dog in the crate and get them out the door on time, it is exhausting.
Typically I find myself irritated. Vivien refuses to eat her breakfast. Dexter starts putting together his Legos when I send him upstairs to brush his teeth. I leave the house more often than naught with wet hair and no make up, looking like a homeless person.
Everyone is groggy and grumpy.
But this morning was different. I found a way to make the morning bearable by playing a “warm-up” song.
It makes sense. Before games, warm-up music sets the tone and redirects the focus. It pumps up the players to perform. Music is played during games to get the crowd into it, to rejuvenate the athletes.
A light bulb suddenly went off in my head. I need to start each day with a warm-up song!
I felt renewed, happy and ready to tackle the day as “Just a small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world ...” came out over the airways.
When the song ended I even sang the national anthem - my children again looked perplexed as I stood by the kitchen sink singing to the American flag hanging from the wine rack.
After I finished, instead of yelling, “Play ball!” I bellowed, “Play life!”
I dropped the kids off at school and Dex shockingly gave his sister a kiss when he got out of the car. When I dropped Vivien off at her school, it was 11 degrees out, but she said, “It’s hot out Mommy, it’s not cold.” Amazing.
Yep. Play life. More play, less stress. It’s not always a big thing needed to get the ball rolling or the blood pumping.
Page 2 of 2 - So if you happen to drive by my house at 8 in the morning and see an almost 40-year-old woman and two children bouncing around, holding wooden spoons and singing into them, it might cause an odd look, but we’re just playing our warm-up song and getting ready for life.
Heather Harris is a reporter for the Norton (Mass.) Mirror, Mansfield News and Easton Journal. A three-sport high school athlete and two-sport college athlete, sports have long been a passion of hers. The mother of two can be seen keeping it real in Mansfield, where she resides. Heather Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.