Rise and Shine

Awake for cake, maybe? 


Something is wrong about getting up before the sun, but I do. Waking to moonlight could explain my werewolf mood of the morning. Pure willpower and possibly too much defaf coffee before bed force me to dash upstairs to the bathroom. I don’t want to, but in our house of seven plus grandma, it’s the only way to have a peaceful shower.

My soul is just not ready to start the day. Or ready to start their day…

At first, gentle words grace my lips, full of love for my sleeping children: “Rise and shine, my little chickadees. Time to get up and go to high school.” Just like Snow White singing to her bluebirds. Okay, minus the little chickadees, and minus the rise and shine part. “Get up,” said in a reasonable decibel.  

Ten minutes pass. 

“Get up, Elijah.”
“I am.”

“You’re not.”

“I’m going.”

“You haven’t moved.”


“Get up, Aaron.”

“I am.”

“You’re not.”

“I’m going.”

“You haven’t moved.” 

Twenty minutes. 

And no sign of my boys anywhere but snoring under the covers in a room that smells of rotting broccoli. I’m sure fur is growing along my spine and claws are breaking through my paws—I mean hands. The bark builds inside me until I burst out: “Elijah! Aaron! Get…up…NOW! You’re going to miss-the-bus…AGAIN!” When Gene and I named our little boys, I never imagined a day I’d be screaming the Bible prophets’ names out loud for the neighbors to hear.  

The full moon hides behind the poplars, and the morning fog dissipates, but I still want to howl. 

Next the empty threats: 

“If you miss it, you bike to school.”

“No taxi money today.”

“Your dad left already, so no free ride.”

The walls shake a bit. Could I cause a small earthquake with my bark? 

Finally, the boys get up, but I’m not done. It’s hard to talk with fangs poking my lip. But if I don’t announce the time every ten minutes, they’ll miss it by default, and say they didn’t know how late it was so they stopped to tie their sneaker. They could be a shoelace off from catching the bus. Sometimes it’s the lost sneaker or missing backpack. Today it’s a “Can’t find my socks day.” My heart races as if I’m trying to catch the bus.  

“Hurry! You’ve got two minutes!”  

“I forgot to brush my teeth.” Elijah disappears upstairs. 

“One minute! Where are you Aaron?” He flies past me and out the door. 

“Bye, love you.” 

“Love you too. Have a great day.” My fangs begin to recede. 

Elijah sweeps by me next. 

“Bye, love you.” 

“Love you too. Run!” But I know the time. 

Two minutes later, he’s back. “I missed it.” 

I sigh; all the bark in me, expended. He smiles, knowing the werewolf is gone like the bus. And I won’t bite. “Could I please call a taxi?”  

The rolling clouds do suggest rain, and I wouldn’t want him sick, biking in the cold…so I call. 

Before my daughter’s turn to get up, I open my Bible and read Ephesians 4:26… “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…” In this case, the moon. As sunlight streams in through the window and warms my face, shame fills my body. I failed again, let that werewolf out and barked half the morning away. I close my eyes, pray, and let the warm sunshine travel to my heart. I know I’m forgiven. Again. 

Maybe I’ll do better under tomorrow’s waning gibbous moon. 


This is dedicated to all the werewolf mothers of teens…I can’t be the only one. There is hope that we’ll be ourselves again. Graduation day?





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