This morning I was awakened early. My daughter’s alarm was going off and since her room is next to my son’s room where we have a baby monitor, I got to hear it as well. It was 6:00 a.m., and I was annoyed that I would have to be ready to take her to summer school an hour later – which would still be earlier than I usually had to wake up each morning on a non-summer school day.
I tried to sleep a little more, tossing and turning as she banged around in the kitchen. At least, I told myself, the noise meant that she was actually eating something for breakfast. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. AND, she wasn’t waiting for me to tell her to eat, or make something for her… I guess it was really a solid medium-sized victory, all told.
Unable to sleep, I finally just got up, put on some clothes that were close enough to reach from the side of the bed, and went in to tell her it was time to go.
When we got to the school where summer school is being held I was relieved to find that I was not the only disorganized, loser-mom who didn’t get her child’s registration done by the deadline (last Friday). I got in line and waited for my turn to pay people to teach my child something in three weeks that she should have learned for free during the last nine months. (Guess who’s not going to band camp this summer?? Pay for summer school = no pay for camp in my book.)
Off she went, smiling, as usual. No matter how frustrated I can get with her, she still manages to brush it off and take life as it comes to her with a smile. Sometimes that, too, can be annoying.
I came home to get myself ready for my day… dress; curse at my hair; anguish over which shoes to wear; curse at the humidity that wrecks my hair; try on three pair of earrings. You get the idea. Then there’s the toddler to get ready. He wants cereal. No, he doesn’t want cereal. He wants to eat at the counter. No he wants to eat at the table – no not on the stool, he wants to sit on the box. NO, he wants to eat at the counter. I stay calm… “losing my temper won’t help” I say to myself. Many times. I finally made it out the door and was even on time.
As I was walking around the side of the van it began to drizzle. There was a blanket of rain-filled clouds blocking out the sun. Down my street came a gray limousine followed by a large SUV of the same dreary color. They were going to my neighbor’s house to pick up the family and take them to the funeral of their five-month-old son who died of SIDS last week. I backed out of the driveway as young men in black suits started to come out of the house and gather on the porch; straightening jackets and pulling at collars.
I drank in the sight of my healthy, rambunctious 2-and-a-half year old in the back seat and thought about my daughters who make me laugh, and cry, and raise my voice; and blinked back thankful, grieving tears.