Shared hope
Insights on Babel: how groupthink damages our relationship with God

New toddler house poem, about waking early


The wail -- wet pyjamas --
drags me bleary

past the flickering nightlight
at the red-eye crack of dawn

I wrap our cosiest blankets
at the wrong end of the bed

unwilling to flip the switch
and admit that it's daytime

but there's no more sleep
for either one of us:

I give up and make coffee
as early sun gilds the floor

Modah ani l'fanecha
living and enduring God

You wake me at 5:30
to remind me how good it is

to be awake
and to be dry

and to bring this mug
to my grateful lips



This is the latest poem in my occasional Toddler House series. Most, though not all, of these poems have appeared here at Velveteen Rabbi in draft. (The most recent was Morning Cartoons, Morning Prayer.) I'm keeping all of them in a single manuscript; I don't know if this will evolve into a full collection, but for the moment I'm enjoying how they play off each other.

The first Monday morning after the time change is always hard. Our little guy (not so little anymore; he's almost three!) goes to bed early and rises early, and though he hasn't batted an eye at going to bed an hour later than he used to (before the time change), he's also not sleeping any later than he used to, which has made this a week of earlier mornings than I might have strictly preferred. I'm aware, though, that sleeping through the night until 5:30 would have seemed unthinkable luxury when he was an infant.

Modah ani l'fanecha are the first words of the Modah Ani prayer, the morning blessing for gratitude. "I am grateful before You, living and enduring God: You have restored my soul to me with mercy; great is Your faithfulness!"