reading · slice of life

Well, that was a surprise.

I knew I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to make it to the school I was working in first-thing this morning on time. What I didn’t know is that Isabelle would be up before me. I went into her room and gave her three options:

  1. Go back to bed. (I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
  2. Draw quietly in her bedroom.
  3. Read books.

At 6:15 a.m., which is when I knew she had to get going for the day, I walked back to her bedroom. It was dark. I expected to find her fast asleep. Instead, I found this:

Empty and Unmade

I gasped. Where was she?

Then, I saw a light streaming out from beneath her walk-in closet. I knocked lightly and turned the door handle. This is what I found:

This was the most unexpected and wonderful place to find Isabelle!

Well, that was a surprise. If anything, I expected she’d be doing artwork. Instead, she was reading When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. (Good choice.)


Seeing as Isabelle had been awake since 4:40 a.m., I was convinced she’d crash early tonight. However, Ari was the one who got tired first, so I gave him his bottle, held him upright for awhile (since he now has a cough!), and then kissed him good-night. As soon as I walked out of his room — at 7:55 p.m. — Isabelle walked by his door.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I’m helping Daddy with your laundry,” she said.

This kid never helps with the laundry. “Why aren’t you in bed?” I asked.

These two can feel free to do the laundry anytime!

“I’m not tired,” she replied.

“Well, that’s a surprise,” I said. I turned my attention to Marc and asked, “Do you have everything under control here?”

He nodded.

“Okay, I’m going to go down and do some work in my office. I probably have a couple of hours worth of work to do.”

He nodded knowingly. Apparently, me needing to do work was not too surprising to him.

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15 thoughts on “Well, that was a surprise.

  1. A sweet slice of morning and family. It’s like waking and discovering that someone has spontaneously decided to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast – a surprise that warms the heart and starts the day on a note of joy! A delight in both words and pictures.

  2. Your Slice brought me back well over 40 years to my own childhood and my own closet, where I would spend hours…initially it was a quiet place to play; then, as I got older, a delicious reading nook; finally, it granted me the privacy I needed as a teen to talk on the phone for hours on end. Thank you for this delightfully unexpected gift!

  3. Surprises at both ends of your day! And independent good choices–definitely worth marking and remembering on those days when your child’s behavior may veer the other way.

  4. I related to your slice because there’s a lot of stress (both in importance and pressure) in our house around sleep. It started when the kids were babies, of course, and it continues as they grow into pre-teens. I’m sure the surprises were the theme of your slice, but the early rising and not feeling tired 15+ hours later was what spoke to me. And I was surprised (impressed) at your calm reaction at 8pm. Good work by you!

  5. Aren’t independent readers awesome!? I love when my kids can get themselves up and find a book (or LEGO) to occupy them for a while instead of waking me up early. Also, I want a walk-in closet I can turn into a reading room for myself!

  6. This is so sweet! I love the surprise of finding her in the closet — and I love the non-surprise of you needing to work. πŸ™‚

    I’m also super impressed by the bedtime and your calm need to work! My kids have such a hard time getting ready for bed if I need to work! It’s a big problem around here!

  7. Thank you for your comments. The stomach bug made it’s way to Isabelle and my mom last week, which is why I didn’t have the time to respond to comments personally last week! Thankfully, everyone is better now!

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