Each morning I make a choice.
If I get out of bed at 6 I will have the house to myself. I will tiptoe around the bedroom, stumble my way toward the bathroom, and eventually find my running clothes. Once everything has been strapped on or laced up I will step out into a cold and still morning and have not just the house but the whole world to myself, or so it seems. The trail will be empty, just me and the deer who reflect me in their black-globe eyes, standing still as stones as I run by.
Silent except my breath, and the fall of my feet on the crushed gravel. The morning will be the magic of mist hanging low somewhere between the dew-covered grass and the sunrise.
If I get out of bed at 7, or a little after really, I’ll hear the shuffle of pajama-clad feet padding down the hallway and the near-silent scuffle of a little boy climbing up on the side of the bed. He’ll crawl in beside me, and I’ll hear the tiny ticks of static as he slides close as close can be under the covers. I’ll feel the tender weight of his tiny hand as he sets it on my shoulder. I’ll turn my face toward him, eyes still closed, and my hand will find his chest to feel the beat of his heart and the rise and fall of his breath under my palm all at once.
This is a hard little choice, though either outcome makes the day a little easier.