Mornings with Mike


I don’t blog much about my husband. Mostly because I subscribe to the notion that my blog is not my personal bragging or complaining space. To that, I think, my husband is very relieved and pleased. But sometimes, there are just too many funny things not to share. And, since he has a birthday coming up, he’s due for a tribute.

My husband was a Marine. It’s kind of a cool thing to say. People are always a little surprised mainly because of his nice guy charm. Beneath the jacket and tie, there’s some remnants of Parris Island and Semper Fi.

There are lots of things he learned there that I am sure he could tell you about. How to pack a backpack to look like it’s heavy when it’s really not. How to barter for better MREs. Michael Gallagher is not short on stories, trust this. But one thing he always talked about was how they got out of bed, quickly, and “dressed by the numbers.”

And so, that being said, here’s a little snapshot of a morning nearly two decades after his time in the Marines. With a wife. And two kids.

5:53 am The Wake-up

IPhone alarm goes off blasting “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. He doesn’t just shut off the alarm like a normal person; he lets it play as long as possible.

“Isn’t that your favorite song, my sweet butter buns?”

I roll away from Mike who has now clicked on his computer and is allowing too much light from the screen into the room. “Empire State of Mind” is not my favorite song, nor do I have any idea why we have to hear it blasting every morning. And, every time he calls me sweet butter buns (his odd version of the anti-pet name), I grimace. But I don’t correct him.

Because he’s a Gallagher. And that would only make him do it more.

6:20 am Wake up Mini Me
Parker has a LOT of his Dad in him— sense of humor, wit, outgoing personality. But it’s in the talking, discussing and re-discussing that I know that I have a Mini-Mike on my hands. I mean this kid has already got the market cornered on negotiation. “I see your cereal bar and I raise you a sippy cup full of milk and a Toy Story guy. Hmmm, not taking it? Well, then, watch me flush this Ziploc down the toilet.” Confession: I was inspired from this link I saw this week. Another confession: The Ziploc example is true.

And since we’re talking about Toy Story…there is not an end to the Woody (the character in Toy Story, of course) jokes that Mike pulls out in a given day. It could be, “Where is your favorite place to play with your Woody? “ Or “Is this one your big Woody or a little Woody.” It’s ridiculous. Or hilarious. Or both.


6:30 am Wardrobe

Mike has a different way of saying, “are you sure about that?” in the morning. It’s the casual technique of ridicule without the maturity of directly talking to the person. “Mommy has her PINK PANTS on! It’s a PINK PANTS day! You have to have sunglasses for THOSE PANTS! Do you like those pants, Parker?”

And, sometimes I change, sometimes I don’t. Because I like my BLUSH colored pants very much thank you. But, on this particular day, I change. Because now I feel a little silly and the pants look suddenly very pink.

6:45 Bret-fist

Mike has eggs every morning. Every. Morning. Same eggs. Same plate. Same breakfast (or bret-fist, as Parker says it). He tries to get Parker to eat eggs but no go. So, instead, Michael’s pride and joy, The Best Egg Eater in the House, Miss Celia, sits and shares eggs with him. I swear it’s his favorite part of the day. The two of them at the table, an egg feast before them; it’s really a sight to see.

6:55 am Robot Dance-off (You read that right)

I have been named the worst dancer in our family. I really know that I am the best. Somehow Mike has convinced Parker that I cannot do the Robot dance as well as he can. Who the hell does he think he’s married to? I was a freaking cheerleader! All I DO is dance. Clearly, whenever this debate comes up (read: every morning), it makes me furious.

“How does Mommy dance if she doesn’t dance like a Robot?”

“Like a chicken!” [Everyone laughs]

Yup. I am going to live a life trying to convince my kids that I can actually dance. I am like the Elaine of Moms already and they have not even really ever seen me in action! Sigh.

7:05 am Love you Bye

We say goodbye and end our morning while each of us drives off in one direction with one child to a different day care. We then head in to the same school to teach for the day and still manage the “HI!” in the hallway when we see each other. I carry on with my day in the cutest pink pants you’ve ever seen and he carries on with his–fueled up and ready after his protein punch of a breakfast.

We will laugh

Mike will always be a Marine, he will always be good for a laugh, a sarcastic comment and a good, “did you hear what you just said?” We see (and blatantly point out) the funny things in each other. Sometimes he’s a little more forthcoming than I, but I would say a focal point for us has always been— making each other laugh.

When we were married, I wrote a poem that the priest read at the ceremony that repeated the phrase “We will laugh.” Even though I knew that life would always be fun and interesting with Mike, I think I underestimated the amount of laughing we would actually do. Our evenings and afternoons are so colored by the hilarity of the other person that the bath-time-dinner-time-toddler-negotiation-time of life doesn’t get us down. It just helps to inform the next joke, the next song on the Ipod alarm, the next “Mommy’s wearing her _____pants!” comment. And with this, I realize that I decided to spend my life and parenthood with the right person, the one who might ridicule my dancing but will continue, each morning, to make me take myself and every aspect of my morning and my day—Jay Z and all— much less seriously.



  1. Carla Frio says:

    So jealous that life really is so full of all the things a friend could wish for her friend. Bridge, I’m so happy that you are happy and that you have such joy in the simplest things in life. May you always have goodness and laughter together!

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