"You should wake up with gratitude to G-d for having restored your faculties, and with a lionlike resolve to serve your Creator, you should immediately declare:
I gratefully thank You, O living and eternal King, for You have returned [I say 'awakened'] my soul within me with compassion-- abundant is Your faithfulness."
~ "Upon Arising" from the
Artscroll Women's Siddur~
Thus begins the "Shacharit," or morning prayers in the Siddur. It should be the first thing one says when waking up each morning. If you're like me, perhaps you have mumbled it to yourself occassionally while dragging yourself out of bed to tend to the little one whose gleeful chatter flows from the baby monitor. I know that lions can be fairly lazy at times, but I don't think this is what is meant by "lionlike resolve!" I consider myself a "morning person" to an extent, because that is usually when I'm most productive and have the most energy. However, I cannot even begin to compare myself with my daughter, who is definitely a morning person! When she wakes up, she hardly ever cries. Rather, she jumps right back into the conversation she was having with herself the previous day... she squeals, she laughs, she bangs on the crib...
She has been a great reminder to me that the best part of waking up is not Folger's in your cup (although I do drink Folger's in the morning), but the best part of waking up is waking up! As soon as we realize that we have been given another day of life, there is more than enough reason to exclaim our gratitude! It is only with G-d's help that we are able to breathe at all. As it is stated in the "Bedtime Shema," we ask G-d "may You illuminate my eyes lest I die in sleep, for it is You who illuminates the pupil of the eye." Without His approval, there would be no waking up.
It's nice to read Psalm 5 in the morning, because in verse 3, it says: "In the morning, O L-RD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." Mornings can be difficult for families, especially with small children. Nevertheless, we should strive to express our gratitude to HaShem and let Him hear our voice, so that we can prepare ourselves to "eagerly watch" and see what He will do throughout the day ahead.