I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. Even with my cell phone in hand, I still couldn't be sure if I heard it or not. But it was definitely buzzing and flashing something chipper at me like, "Wakey, wakey!" Five after five in the morning. WAY too early to be out of bed.
I tip-toed out into the hall to see if I could hear anyone stirring. Silence. I crept into the kitchen, found a to-go cup and poured myself a cup of coffee. First things first. I heard the toilet flush in the boat. "Oh, good," I thought. "She's awake." The only thing worse than getting up at the crack of dawn is making someone else get up at the crack of dawn. No one appreciates that. Not even when they have a plane to catch.
I heard the bathroom door open and my mother-in-law came around the corner into the kitchen.
"Good morning," I whispered.
"Good morning," she whispered back.
I handed her her coffee and we shuffled down the hall. Shoes on, suitcase zipped, out the door and on our way to say goodbye.
It had been sort of a surprise visit - we found out Wednesday she would be here on Friday - but what a fantastic surprise. Liam LOVES his grandmama, a name he only recently started calling her (we were pushing for "Fancy Pants" but it just didn't take). And little Finn has finally learned that a grandma is a boy's best friend.
It's always sad to see family go but I know it won't be long before we have another visitor. Chateau de Conran has a way of luring people back...
On my way home, I felt surprisingly awake. I had volunteered to take Grandma to the airport because there was no reason I couldn't go back to bed after I dropped her off. But now that I was up, I was starting to think I might just start the day. Then again, it wasn't even 6:00. That seemed a little early to be up for no reason.
But when I pulled up to the house and got out of the car, I was overcome with how nice it felt outside. I wasn't sweating or cursing the day I was born. There were no bugs swarming around me. I didn't have a single mosquito bite and I'd been out of my car for more than 30 seconds. Wait a minute, was that? Was that a cool breeze I felt?
I hadn't enjoyed being outside this much since Hawaii! It was there I realized that while I do love being outside, it is definitely a fair-weather love. As in, I love being outside when the weather is fair. When it's hot and humid and sticky and buggy (like it is in Nashville right now), I actually do not like being outside at all. I despise sweating and would honestly much rather hole up inside my house like a crazy person than do any number of normally "fun" activities (i.e. - going to a party, taking a walk, checking out the farmer's market, jumping on the trampoline, watching a movie in the park, gardening, taking the kids to the playground, having a picnic, getting the mail, etc.).
So when I realized this morning that being outside can be enjoyable in Nashville as long as you get up early enough, I scrapped my plan to go back to bed and got out my gardening tools. If not now, when?! I spent the next hour or so in the front yard, pulling up weeds in my sun dress and bare feet, grinning like an idiot and looking at strangers out walking their dogs like, "Look at us! We're outside! And we're not even sweating!!!"
We should have shirts made.
Thank you, Fancy Pants! (No reason I can't still call her that.) For spending time with us in Nashville and helping me discover how nice it is to be up before dawn. Who knew my happy place got up before I did?!