Usually around 5 a.m. my hand is flying through the dark air to find my iPhone on the nightstand. I hit “snooze” for an extra 9 minutes and then I do it again. So that’s how I wake up at 5:18 in the morning. Hey, every minute counts. I am grateful for my gentle-bells wake-up tone; far cry from the angry alarm my mother woke up to years ago.
Then we’re off! The dogs run down the stairs before me, ready for breakfast and then eager to go out. I pour my coffee, hit it with cream, let the dogs in (wipe the paws off, first), throw last night’s wash in the dryer, get the lunches going.
Yes, I make my boys’ lunches. Yes, they are old enough to make their own lunches, but I actually like doing it and giving them plenty since they’re both athletes after school. I miss my older two, say quick prayers for them in between slathers of mayo, prayers for all of us, sip my coffee, light a candle. I do. I like my morning kitchen candle, and you’ve got to do what you like. You should try it. It adds a cozy touch.
Then it’s, “You look handsome, honey,” or “Can’t we try a polo shirt?” or “I said a nicer shirt,” or “You can’t go to school without eating; your brain needs food to function!” or “Let’s go, let’s go, it’s time to go!” And a touch more coffee and you know what I mean.
Once they’re pulling out of the driveway (my oldest drives my youngest), it’s my turn, only it’s a rush because, well, I’m just a rusher. I need to settle down, chill, hang out. My kids are really good at that … me, not so much. And yet this is infinitely easier than it used to be when I had four kids at home and juggled work, too. It was always a race to this, a race to that, breakfast, lunch, dinner, shopping, cooking, driving …
Speaking of which.
After changing my jeans (courtesy of muddy dog paws) before dashing out, I quickly adjusted my makeup and hair and got on my way.
Rush, rush, figure out a way to get around the traffic, whip around the back way, my mind a whir of busy thoughts: my kids, my family, upcoming Thanksgiving and family trying to make plans, soccer tryouts, soccer games, football games, Halloween, the election … then boom! I saw her.
Waiting in traffic to get on I-65, I stared. A woman in a sleek, black Lexus. Her white-blonde hair pulled back into a thick pony tail with a special clasp, a bracelet glinting in the sun. Staring straight ahead, she was composed, peaceful … and then I thought … past the child-rearing years. And then I felt sad.
I don’t want these years to end! The too-busy-for-much-else kid years. I love having kids at home. They give me a reason to rush, a reason to pack lunches, to nag about a shirt. I want quick kisses on the cheek. I want the hectic days when there’s too much to do and we can’t do it all. I want the spinning plates and seeing if I can catch them before they fall!
I don’t ever want my life to be as quiet and serene as the Lexus lady. I love a family life. I want the ins and outs and ups and downs.
Maybe a Lexus will be nice one day.