Day 11, 2013

It is dark at 5:15 am. I guess I knew this, but months of sleeping until 6:00 or 6:30 makes one forget the heavy, inky blackness of the early morning. Murphy was confused by the change of pattern, stretching and yawning as I fastened his leash outside on the front steps.

Not even a block from the house I remembered why I love being out this time of day. Most importantly, it is dark so it doesn’t matter what I look like or what I am wearing.  But I also treasure the solitude of it. My world is filled with motion and noise all day, so this is my refuge. Working into a slow trot, I glance at houses as I pass, some glow with light from other early risers. I wave to the newspaper guy and admire his ability to wing that paper through the car window and into a slow skid across the cement consistently. The same cars drive past nearly every day on their way to work or a work out and the quiet routine is my solace.

So, I realized that the first day of school for Mac was not so bad after all. I was positive that he would feel that way as well when I woke him up at 5:50. Murphy was excited that more people were now going to be awake to pet him so he streaked toward Mac’s room ahead of me and hopped up on the bed. Mac groaned and kicked him off the bed. Undeterred, Murphy hopped back up nearer to Mac’s head where he would be less susceptible to violent reactions.

Mac sat up and laid back down four times before finally swinging his legs over the side of the bed, signaling the all clear for me. Once his feet are on the ground, I can leave the room. Before I departed, I asked Mac if he wanted an omelet or yogurt and granola. He replied “yes.” I was not sure he had time to eat two breakfasts, and I was really sure I didn’t want to make two breakfasts, but after the way he treated his buddy Murphy, I wasn’t going to argue.

After his shower, Mac came down and asked if his button down shirt was ready. Darn, darn, darn. I forgot to put it in the dryer. I am sure that Mac has no idea that other mothers iron clothes instead of putting them in the dryer as a means of dewrinkling them. When I was growing up, the ironing board was a staple in my house. I am pretty sure we even ironed our jeans. I think I might have an ironing board in the house somewhere that I only bought for visits from my sister, who clearly inherited the ironing gene.

I looked over at the shirt hanging on the laundry room door, carefully placed there the night before so I would not forget to put it in the dryer. It looks great!  I didn’t try and pretend that I put it in the dryer because he would catch on when it was not warm enough to be fresh from dewrinkling. Instead, I pointed out how good the shirt looked just from being hung up overnight and acted as if the lack of dryer was all part of my plan.

Mac looked at me suspiciously over the pop and crackle of his eggs cooking. I waved the spatula as a means of moving him along and thought again that Mac’s first day of school is not so bad after all.  We were even ahead of carpool schedule. Mac returned to the kitchen and ate one breakfast and took one to go.

Once we left the garage, I noticed that we were cutting it close on time. When did that happen? We were ahead of schedule just minutes before in the kitchen.  This happens to me all the time, we lose ten minutes and I have no idea where it goes. So, the light at the back of the neighborhood was going to be the deciding factor between on-time and fashionably late. Both Mac and I groaned as we watched it turn yellow upon our approach. Never having sat through this light for an entire cycle, I was optimistic but slightly stressy. No one wants to be late the first day of a new carpool.

We both stared at the clock on the dashboard and watched the minutes roll as we waited for the light. Ok, so now we knew that it was a full three minute cycle, it only felt like 10 minutes.  We are only one minute late and two minutes from our destination so all was not lost.

Approaching the first cross street I asked Mac to verify that this was our left turn. He stared at me and said “Mom, we were just here yesterday. Do you not remember this from yesterday?” Yes, we did a trial run yesterday and yes it all looked vaguely familiar but without a good dose of caffeine, everything was murky and uncertain.

The real value of caffeine is lost on children. They think they are tired. HA! They don’t even know the bone weary tired that awaits them as they move through college and adult hood. Not to mention the fact that my brain shrunk in size by at least 20% every time I had a child. So, in reality I am literally less than half as smart as I used to be.

The caffeine makes my brain cells swell and I am smarter; albeit temporarily. I have no idea how much coffee I drink every day because I carry the same cup around for hours without finishing it. Then, I pour the cold remains back in the pot and refill the cup starting the cycle over again. I did know that I had not had more than a sip before climbing in the car, so I was reduced to my normal stupid self.

We arrived and found that one of the other families was not there yet, instantly relieved that we were not the only ones a little late. Mac’s first day of school was not so bad after all!

I really did not want to get out of the car. I had on the same clothes that I wore in the dark when it didn’t matter what I had on and then I compounded the situation by sweating in them. The last car pulled in just behind us and everyone climbed out of their cars. Who were these people? Everyone was crisp and coifed at 6:30 in the morning. Not a sweaty, mismatched item of clothing to be found.

I quickly tried to determine which way would put me down wind of the group and greeted the other moms. Camera phones snapped, backpacks filled the trunk, the boys discovered they all knew each other and then they were off. Wow, Mac’s first day of school was not so bad after all!

Back home, the house was quiet.  Drew and Reed woke up and asked where Mac was, having forgotten that he was at school. Murphy spent the morning lounging on Mac’s bed, burying himself in the comforter and drinking in Mac’s scent. I wanted to climb right in there with him. Mac’s first day of school stunk. I missed him and so did everyone else.

My father-in-law came by to take the boys fishing on the shores of the many lakes in the neighborhood. I took advantage of the time and tried to do some serious damage to my to-do list. I glanced at the clock every now and then willing Mac home. He had texted several times during the day but just to give me to-do lists including ordering books and adding money to his meal plan.

The boys returned and immediately asked about Mac. It was 3pm so he was out of school and had already texted saying he had a ride and would not be on the Metro. About an hour later, Drew shouted “Mac is home.” Reed, Drew and Murphy all ran to the door to greet him.

I hung back and waited for him to join me in the kitchen where we had started the day some 10 hours before. He looked tired but was smiling. When I asked how it went he replied, “For the first day, it wasn’t so bad after all.” See, I knew it all along.


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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