My attitude towards getting up at 4:30 in the morning follows a pattern similar to a sine curve. It always begins in a trough--at 4:30 in the morning when the alarm goes off--because I really don’t want to get out of bed.
I remain in the trough while putting skins on skis in single-digit temperatures and starting up the skin track with not enough clothing to keep warm. But as I make my way up the hill and start to warm up, my attitude also improves. As the skins come off, the boots get buckled, and I start down the hill, I reach an apex. I will stay in this place all morning.
Sometime after lunch, the fatigue catches up with me, and I start to fade. I begin wondering what I was thinking getting up that early. I’ll continue to bounce along the bottom with diet coke being the only thing that keeps me from crashing completely.
Once the workday ends and I go home, I start to perk up again. When I walk in the door and my kids squeal and say “Daddy!” I’m feeling good. If we’re going out in the morning, there will often be an evening exchange of text messages, at which point I’ll once again be at a zenith in anticipation of morning face shots (and if we’re not going out, I’ll be looking forward to sleeping in—all the way until 6:30). If not for that high, I’d be unwilling to set the alarm.
The problem is that when we put the kids to bed about 8:00, I’m ready to go to bed too. Rachel isn’t. It’s her first break of the day and her first chance to spend time with me. Of course I enjoy having time with her, so I stay up.
Which is not to say she doesn’t give me a hard time. She’s always giving me crap about how I should get the senior citizen specials by going to dinner with the blue-haired ladies and the white-haired men before 5:00 p.m. Alls I need are some o' dem white shoes.