Beep! Beep! Beep!
What the—shut up! Geez. Why in the world—oh. Crap. It’s 645. Guh. It’s still dark out. Who wants to get up when it’s still dark out?
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Amber, open your eyes, it’ll be okay. Open them, or else you’ll go back to sleep and you can’t go back to sleep because you have to get the kids ready for school..
My eyes flew open.
Kids. Go back to school. Alone time! Peace!
But ugh. Still too early. Why can’t school start at 10?
Beep! Beep! Beep!
I’m coming! Shut up!
I turned the alarm off and forced myself out of bed. I managed to get dressed, still with my eyes squished shut. I shuffled down to Tommy’s room and tumbled inside. He was still asleep, buried under the blankets. What I would give to still be buried under the blankets. Now, maybe some mothers go over and whisper kindly for their offspring to wake up. I sort of poked at him and went, “Grkljwer,” because it was too early for words to form.
“Huh?” Tommy pushed the covers off of him and jumped a bit when he saw me standing there with my hair all over the place and my eyes half shut.
“Gafdkljsf,” I said again. “Fslsadfkj.”
“Okay.” Tommy has known me long enough to understand what I refer to as “my morning tongue.”
I am not, not, NOT a morning person. I used to be able to wake up at 740. Now Tommy goes to middle school and his bus picks him up at 730 so my alarm sounds at 645. Yes, he’s 11, I could make him do all of this himself. But he’s also easily distracted so I could see him lose track of time while staring at Mario videos on YouTube. Then I’d have to drive him and quite honestly, I don’t want to deal with the car line.
Anyway, as Tommy got dressed, I prepared him breakfast: a bowl of Golden Grahams. I do not cook in the mornings. Who has the energy? Not me. I almost fell asleep as Tommy ate. My head was going down, down, down and it suddenly jerked upright.
“Who’s there?” I yelled.
Tommy blinked, his mouth full of cereal. “Uh. Me?”
On that first day, I wanted to take him to the bus stop to make sure he got on okay.
I took a picture of Tommy before he headed over to his bus. Natalie had to get in the picture too.
“He’s all grown up,” she sighed as Tommy walked away.
I wanted to shout at him that it would be okay, to not let anyone be mean to him but I kept my mouth shut. I did not want to embarrass him. But holy crap. MIDDLE SCHOOL! I hoped he would not get lost.
Then I got photos of Natalie:
I felt like she needed the sign since 90% of my Facebook feed had kids holding these fancy explanations written in chalk. “First Day Of Second Grade!” one boomed. “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up: A Mommy!” I do not have the patience to write in swirly, neat writing on a chalkboard. Hell, I barely had the energy to lift the camera up and take a picture. I was so tired.
So Natalie got that sign.
I walked Natalie to her classroom and she didn’t even care that I was leaving. She got comfortable real quick and told me goodbye. Twice, because I didn't get the message the first time. I was pleased that she didn’t have a fit and attach herself to my leg but at the same time I thought, “You won’t even miss me a smidge? Just a tiny bit? What about our boxed juice dates as we sat in front of the TV and watched Dr. Phil?"
The good news is, Tommy did NOT get lost. He seems to like middle school so far.
Natalie enjoys first grade, although she told me seriously as we ate dinner that night, “There is no magic carpet anymore. I miss the magic carpet! I had my own special spots and everything."
I'm just pleased that they like school.
I just really wish it began at a respectable hour. (10!)