You are forced to arise this morning when the youngest gingerbread boy knocks on your door.
"Mmph," you say.
He takes that to mean come in, because a few seconds later, the door knob squeaks, and the door opens. If allowed to wake up on his own, the youngest gingerbread boy is painfully cheerful in the morning.
"Good morning, Mommy!" He walks around to the other side of the bed, moves the pillow, and climbs in. "I came to see you."
You crack an eye open. It's hard to be anything but happy in the face of such filial devotion.
"Is it Mother's Day tomorrow?" he asks.
"No, not yet."
He snuggles up to you. He's been asking you when Mother's Day is for weeks now. There is a large wrapped package hiding in the other gingerbread boy's room, and the waiting is almost more than he can bear.
The siren call of morning cartoons sounds, and he leaves you for some PBS. That's ok. You got a morning snuggle, a hug and a kiss, and now some quiet time for work.
Later, there'll be cleaning. There will be planting. There will be piano and cello. The soundtrack of your life has moved on from the Peanuts theme song and Moonlight Sonata to Red Balloons and the Entertainer. Once, it was Pomp and Circumstance, and every time you walked from room to room, you felt obligated to walk a slow step-touch-step-touch-step-touch.
Graduation is still far away for your gingerbread boys, though. You still have a few more years to mold their characters, to teach them what they need to survive. And in the meantime, you're grateful for the morning hugs and kisses from the younger, for the fist bumps and half-hearted hugs from the older. You're grateful for a sunny spring morning, for the trees lifting their lacy branches into the sky, for the lily-of-the-valley that's springing up at the edge of the forest. You're grateful for the breath in your lungs, and the space of a whole day awaiting your will.