I’m now officially “that” Mom in the eyes of my children’s school. I just burst into the main office, sputtering and gasping for air, all the while holding my daughter’s backpack up in the air like baby Simba from The Lion King. I had on my best “I’m late because I didn’t have my shit together this morning” look, and I didn’t even need to explain myself. Everyone just sort of nodded knowingly as they gently pried the backpack from my hands before patting me on the back and ushering me quickly back out the door. I think they prefer it if the crazy parents stay outside so as not to scare all the children.
I am up early every day during the week just so I have time to sip my coffee quietly on the couch and watch as the sun rinses the last bits of night from the morning sky. It is one of my favourite times of the day. This also happens to be my younger sons’ favourite time of the day, but for a different reason. About ten minutes into my coffee I will inevitably hear the soft shuffle of feet across the floorboards above, followed by the muffled tumble of footsteps on the stairs. Seconds later my beautiful, sweet boy will appear in the living room, sleep still clinging to his eyes. With ruffled hair and a drowsy smile he will climb awkwardly onto the couch in order to fold his warm, sleepy body into mine. I will rest my head on top of his, and time will stop while we sit, often in silence, and drink in the sweetness of the moment. This is my daily reminder to breathe, to be present and to love the quiet in-between moments that may seem like nothing, but mean absolutely everything.
You know that feeling when you get out of bed in the morning and your foot has fallen asleep? You stand up without realizing that it has gone numb, then you stagger around like a disoriented zombie, clutching at chairs and walls just trying to propel yourself forward. Then the tingle starts; slow at first, a soft hint of a tickle. You think you can handle it, so you roll your ankle and tap your foot, a challenge of sorts. But then it happens. A thousand tiny pin pricks of misery suddenly descend upon your foot, and you lose all control over your senses. You hold your breath, roll your eyes and flap your hands to hurry the pain along. Then you take tentative steps, boldly pushing back against the ridiculousness of it all until finally you are free enough to run wildly, like a Chihuahua hopped up on speed, ready to start the day.
Now that school has started again, this pretty much describes my daily morning struggle as the parent in charge of getting all three children to school in one piece, all the while maintaining the illusion of being a respectable, responsible adult along the way. It isn’t pretty, friends.
I am not a morning person. I used to be, but then I had kids; three of them, to be exact. Now, my morning brain functions at about the level of a cold bowl of leftover oatmeal, and, as the adult in charge of getting the kids off to school in the morning, that’s not a very useful brain to have. Trying to coordinate breakfast, clothing, morning chores, backpacks, and all the other things that need to get done in order to get out the door on time is ridiculously exhausting, especially when the children are about as useful as a litter of newborn kittens. Super adorable to look at, but they spend most of their time climbing on each other and walking into walls.
I wrote the following a while back after a particularly torturous morning that ultimately left me wondering how I would ever be able to show my face at the boys’ school again:
Morning school drop-offs are chaotic at the best of times, and today was no exception. The boys’ school has a drop off area where parents can pull up along side the school, deposit their kids on the sidewalk, and drive away while one of the teachers then walks the younger kids into the school yard.
We were running a bit behind today, so I was in full on Crazy Mom mode when we pulled up to the school. I jumped out of the van and frantically began piling all the boys’ belongings onto the sidewalk. Mittens, jackets, bags, children; one giant blur of hurried insanity. In my haste, I stood up from hugging Isaac and turned to the teacher next to me and said, “I love you,” then turned back to Isaac and told him to have a good day. It wasn’t until I had driven halfway down the street that I realized what I had done.
PARENTING: If you’re not confused, you’re not doing it right!