Monday, 7:30 am
As he stumbles out of his bedroom rubbing an eye, he looks at me, all confused; "Why did you wake me up in the middle of the night?"
Just wait, kiddo, soon it'll be dark when you leave for school, too!
Growing up during the winter months in Scandinavia, my dad would always light a candle on the kitchen table before breakfast. My groggy siblings and I would sit and admire the flickering light on the walls, while we waited for our porridge to be ready. Then he'd leave for work, and as he passed by outside the kitchen window, we could barely make out his wave before he was swallowed up by the morning blackness.
I knew I'd soon have to go out into the cold winter morning, too, and walk to school, but right then and there, I felt safe, snuggly and warm inside our kitchen cocoon.
My dad is retired now, but while my mother continues to work, he still gets up first, lights a candle on the kitchen table and makes her coffee and breakfast. He does this every morning, even when she has a flight to catch and needs to be out of the door by 5 am.