There is a brief moment of absolute tranquility to my mornings these days. Its right after I workout and just before I delve into the kitchen. I beam at my watch with the exercise ring closed in the wee hours of the morning, usually before the sun has even begun to rise. I beam, breathe, wipe away sweat relived yet energetic; I have exactly 60 minutes before we are all packed and I am heading out the door.

And soon after I switch to fixing lunch for all of us. We have a rhythm now ( routine is too dull a word ). In the words of my little one who says it a sing-song dramatic way “wake up…. brush… bath… eat breakfast….” he goes no like that for 7 days over and over like hamster’s wheel. You get the drift!

But I have started to find a strange solace to my mornings. Now that I begin them with a workout I am wee bit more excited to wake up to get that me-time, before the rush of the morning engulfs me. But the pattern with cooking and packing has become equally therapeutic.

I bring out the lunch boxes from the dishwasher, the lunch bags from the closet. I run over the do-not-forget list written in chalk that briefs what each of us must have. My older one takes 3 snacks, my younger one, still in day care, only one and I require a blue ice in my bag. I recall what the kids had asked me for lunch, the previous night and make mental notes of what to get to first. Then I stare at the fridge to figure what else can I use to cook, whats almost ready to rot and what must be packed and finished asap. There is a gentle softness in this banality, that is probably enhanced by the silence of the morning. Its like a din running thru my mind. I feel afloat and in my sweaty self I feel humbled!

As I am closing the last lunch bag or juggling with the final few details before all the boxes are ready on the counter; I am now used to hearing the soft footsteps of amma slowly making her way downstairs. She pauses for a brief moment before heading to the kitchen to pray to our ganesha, seated at the entrance of our house. These days she braces herself for the morning chill and comes wrapped in sweater, scarf and warm socks and moves slowly to make tea. She asks me every single day “you will have tea, right?”.. It is more of a rhetoric question and I always mull “hmm”.

As I get to the dishwasher, N walks in from his outdoor run, ready to wake the kids and get them on the morning ablutions wagon. I drink my tea making small talk with appa and amma, as N calls out what the kids want for breakfast. And the next few moments are a blur; breakfast for all of us ( its all eggs ) and my mug of coffee, kids tumbling down for breakfast, my parents pitching in to get it all moving. And in 5 min I have had my bath and in a scurry of snuggles and goodbye kisses I have headed out the door. Just like that!

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