When my kids were little they really enjoyed reading Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, and some of the favorite pages showed Little Bear "getting ready for the new day." We all have our routines for getting ready for the new day, and my routine still includes announcing to my dog, "Mommy's going upstairs to get ready for the new day."
I am girly girl. Fifteen years of Boy Scout camping and eleven years of globe-trotting and hanging out in El Salvador have not changed my routine, and getting ready for the new day in El Salvador has brought plenty of children in our sister church community plenty of entertainment.
I wake up to the sounds of roosters and dogs and calls of "paaaan franceeeeés." I tippy toe to the door, which, with its metal latch is not easy to open quietly, and catch a breath of cool fresh air. After a little visit to the latrine, I sneak back into the house and grab my towel and shampoo. Although I am a girly girl, I am also Grubby, so I don't wash my hair every day, but I do try to shower. Wearing my flip flops, I step onto the two cement blocks next to the water barrel. It's best to shower in my jammies, because no matter how early I get up, there is a little line of boys standing along the front wire fence, peaking and giggling. One plastic bowlful of water over the head. Shampoo. Scrub. Soap up. Then a few buckets over the head to rinse off. This takes a bit of bravery, because no matter how hot you are during the night, the water feels a little beyond refreshingly cold.
Dry off. Go inside. Get dressed quietly. Then it is back out to the yard with my hand mirror to fix my hair and do my make-up. The sun provides the best light for this process, and the little boys all join me in the yard to watch. They like to smell the mousse and watch me tip upside down to scrunch up my curly hair. They are no doubt thinking, "wow, this lady is really white!" as I slather on the sun screen. They watch closely as the eye shadow and mascara go on. Then we hang out for a while, chatting about school or the dogs or the ducks.
Later in the morning, I put a clip or some sort of adornment in my hair and bust out the hair spray. Once, Brian gasped and said, "Que gran parfuuuuuuuum!" (What a humungous bottle of perfume!) I laughed and said it was for my hair. He wanted some too, so I gave his head a squirt. It does smell good!
By the time my hair is dry and gorgeous (not), my make-up is already sweaty and sun-screened arms and legs are gritty. No matter. I feel pretty, have provided early morning entertainment, and am ready for whatever fun and adventure the new day brings.