Mornings as meant to be

Michael G. Yu
Family guy and Rappler contributor Michael Yu tells us about what it's like to wake up with his loved ones on a non-working morning

PRICELESS. Any parent would be happy if this is the first thing you see each morning. Michael's kids Kiara and Timmy sleeping in exactly the same position. Photo from Michael Yu's Facebook page

HONG KONG – The gray light peeking through from behind the block-out curtains is all I need to tell me the time, but I check the clock anyway.

6:12 AM

At this time on most days, thoughts of crammed buses and pressing deadlines are already crowding my consciousness as I scurry about the apartment preparing for a long workday.

Not today, though. Not today.

The only body part I turn towards the left is my head, careful not to move anything else lest I shake the bed too much.

Good, he is still asleep.

I stare at him for a while longer, lying on his back with his face turned away from me, his hands in a this-is-a-stickup position, and his breathing quick but rhythmic.

Good, still asleep, I repeat in my mind before turning my head back slowly to face the ceiling once more.

I try to lose myself in slow, random thoughts but the lure of the day is intense, working up the brain cells to a dizzying pace against my will.

It isn’t just the necessary chores egging me on either, but leisure activities that aren’t always possible to get to on busy weekdays: reading, surfing, TV.

Get out of bed now, I hear the Me inside my mind saying.

Every minute in bed is a wasted one. You don’t have much time, there’s so much to do!

Battling the inertia built up from consecutive breakneck speed days, I close my eyes and breathe deeply.

It feels like an attempt to slow down a 10-wheeler truck by pulling on a rope held between my teeth; fighting off this addiction equating constant action with productivity seems futile.

“Dada?”

I open my eyes and turn my head in time to see him snuggling up towards me.

“Good morning, Timmy,” I whisper.

“Good morning, Dada,” he whispers back while grabbing my arm for a hug.

I lie on my side to face him. He clips my arm under his – as if he knew of my intentions – and falls fast asleep once more.

Locked in a grip deceivingly strong for my son’s young, 5-year-old frame, my urge to begin the day’s activities begins to ebb.

I can just make out the time on the digital clock atop the bookshelf. 

8:26 AM

Normally by this time, the light streaming in from the east-facing window is a bright yellow, but it remained the same dull gray, keeping the room enveloped in dawn-like darkness.

I took that as a sign. If even the sun refuses to rise on this cool November morning, why should I?

Wondering for whom the action is more soothing, I begin patting Timmy’s thigh out of habit and slowly shut my eyes, unaware of when the patting stops.

That may be all I need 

In darkness she is all I see 

Come and rest your bones with me 

Driving slow on Sunday morning 

And I never want to leave 

— “Sunday Morning,” Maroon 5

– Rappler.com

What are you doing with your family today? Tell us by tweeting us @rapplerdotcom and using #FamilySunday.

Michael G. Yu is a loving father and husband who currently works for a Chinese-owned multinational company in Hong Kong as head of Corporate Human Resources.

He first wrote for Rappler in April. Then he joined our Mother’s Day celebration month by writing a tribute to his wife. In August, he blogged for us about Soc Villegas, autism and the challenges of parenthood.

His most recent piece for us is a blog about being a non-expert in changing his baby girl’s diapers.