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Sunday mornings: our sole work-free day generally begins with a tangle of 3 uninvited kids squirming in our bed. They creep in around 6 am, and by 7:30 am I’m willing to sell them to the highest bidder just to get them out of our room. B, an undiagnosed borderline narcoleptic, sleeps through the chaos of our Sunday mornings. I can’t.

In the past I used to silently make my way out of our house by 6:30 am and join the other runners and cyclists who doggedly log their miles every week. That small notch of time I carved for myself recalibrated my senses in every way; though I have to admit, getting through those runs was tough but the sense of satisfaction was priceless.

By the time I’d get back from these runs, tired but re-energized, my kids had every tv in the house blaring, and one of the girls could be found in the kitchen making “breakfast” for B, who was still comatose in bed.

I haven’t laced up in months — I miss those mornings, those runs.

This past Sunday, B woke up uncharacteristically early. He muttered it had something to do with the multiple threats of bodily harm I promised if he didn’t give me a break that morning. Since I make the same empty threat every Saturday night and it goes unnoticed every Sunday morning, I was surprised to see him actually get up, get dressed and attempt to gather the kids out of our room. It was 8 am and a crisp 63°, the sky was cloudless, and my husband was awake.

I sprung out of bed, turned Spongebob on and without nary a look back, B and I jumped on our bikes and joined the ranks of early risers who faithfully pedal or run through our quiet city streets. I rode behind him, with a blend of Simon & Garfunkel/DMB/Colin Hay/The Weepies/U2 whispering in my ears.  The early sun warmed my back and the wind lifted hair.

Our brief time alone, dare I say it, without our kids, without our work, without the heaviness of our days — that brief hour we consciously chose to set our worries aside and to yank ourselves out of our predictable routines, made us happy.