I wake up to tea.
Every morning, I wake up to tea. I do not even have to make the tea. My beloved husband lets me sleep for a few extra blessed minutes while he makes the tea. And toast. He always makes toast, too.
Unless, of course, we’re out of bread (which happens more often than I like to admit. I bake four loaves a week, and it’s still not enough. There’s a reason we call Luke and Ben the Toast Zombie Twins.) When that happens—running out of bread, I mean—Doug makes biscuits.
That’s right. Biscuits. And not from a mix, either. From scratch. Fluffy, buttery, and perfectly browned homemade biscuits.
Those mornings, I get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes. This is one of those mornings.
Unfortunately, the babies haven’t gotten the let-Mama-sleep memo. They want biscuits. They have wanted biscuits since Doug put the raw dough in the oven ten minutes ago, and they have been squawking ever more loudly since.
Even I, worshipper of Hypnos that I am, reach a point when the squawk cancels the sleep. I roll out of bed and stagger to the table.
The twins sit in their high chairs. Luke has stacked the teacups and creamer inside one another. I fall into one of the wooden chairs and wrap a blanket around my legs. I unstack the teacups and put them back in their saucers, set the creamer back on the tea tray.
Doug brings in a plate of steaming biscuits, at the sight of which the twins renew their efforts to be champion rooster. The way they’re clamoring for them, you’d think biscuits were the food of the gods or the elixer of life.
I slice a biscuit in half and slather jam on each piece, give one to each of the babies. They shove the biscuits in their respective maws, and for a moment, there is silence.
Doug pours the tea. I sip it. The heat sears my throat. Steam rises in a wavery curl from my cup.
“Ready for the best biscuits in the history of the world?” Doug says as he hands me a biscuit half, spread with honey.
He’s not boasting. It’s the merest bit crispy on the outside, perfectly fluffy on the inside. The deliciously nutty flavor of whole wheat melts on my tongue.
“You’ve outdone yourself,” I say around a mouthful of honey buttery yum.
He grins and gives each of the boys and me another biscuit half, then pours more tea into my almost full cup.
I smile at him. “Thank you.”
On this first Friday of a new month, I pause to look back with gratitude and remember a few of the endless gifts I received in the past 30 days:
2556. The song of a house finch on a wire somewhere down the street floats into our yard, into my ears.
2557. The scent of lilacs.
2558. A wolf spider carrying her egg sac.
2559. Silver-dollar sized strawberry flowers, bright white in the sun, nestled among glossy deep green leaves.
2560. Getting to lay hands on the shoulders of two incoming elders as we prayed over them.
2561. Jack came in to show me the rhubarb apple crisp he’d made; he was covered, no, coated, in flour.
2562. Jack’s yummy tart-sweet rhubarb apple crisp with tea this morning.
2563. Jane figured out, all by herself, that six minus two is four.
2564. Strawberries and biscuits for breakfast.
2565. Tea, always.
2566. Ten blessed, glorious hours of sleep last night.
2567. The fragrance of perfectly ripe cantaloupe.
2568. The mouse is dead.
Won’t you please join me in counting the gifts? You can head over to A Holy Experience and join Ann Voskamp’s gratitude community. Or you can just start your own list: write a few things for which you’re grateful in the comments or grab whatever paper is closest and whatever writing utensil you can reach, and start naming and numbering the gifts. It will change your life. (And if you do begin a gift list, would you please let me know?)