Last night, as I lovingly tongued my bottle of NyQuil goodnight, I set my internal alarm clock, as I always do when something is going on the following morning. Lately, though, with my anxiety levels being through the roof, I haven’t really needed it – turns out the cure for “not being a morning person” is not “no cowbell,” nor is it, “suck it up, Buttercup.”
Nope – it’s anxiety. Who knew?
7AM, I awoke, flutter-byes playing basketball in my stomach, rolled over onto my stomach and groaned – what was so important that I’d been woken up WELL before any sane person would opt for wakefulness? It hit me like a smack in the face: first day of school.
Wearily, I slogged out of bed and splashed some water on my face, trying to look presentable “enough” to the other bleary-faced parents who’d be dropping their kids off, determined that this time, at the very least, I wouldn’t be the youngest parent there, which increased the likelihood that I’d be able to, for the first time ever, get into the Holy Cult of the Mothers (they’re like the Caturday people, but harder to infiltrate). Maybe I need to apply or something.
Bumbling down the stairs, I poured at least half a cup of scalding coffee on my hand before I realized what I was doing. I stared down at my hand, my daughter standing nearby, trying to understand what I’d done.
“Aren’t you gonna say, “FUCK,” Mama?” she asked, completely seriously.
“I’m too tired, Girl Pants,” I replied hazily as I attempted to add some of the Blue Stuff to my coffee, managing to get one out of three packets into the coffee cup.
Aunt Becky: 0
Alex was bounding up and down and racing through the house, chasing the cats and beams of light and random dust particulates floating through the early morning sunlight, beyond thrilled that today was the day! I quickly decided that it wasn’t going to be possible for me to siphon off some of his energy and use it for my own personal gains, so instead, I curled up on the couch and tried to restock my Tiny Tower I’d so thoughtlessly allowed to go dark while I slumbered. My 8-bit people needed Blood of the Bean! And Porn!
Amelia and Alex bargained with Dave over who got to have a donut first, why, and which donut looked, upon taking a bite, more like the letter “c” than the other. Apparently, sibling rivalry knows no bounds.
Finally, my middle son twirled and whirled his way over to me, where he landed gracefully (too graceful to be MY child) in my arms. He stared up at me, blinking.
And in those blinks I saw the baby who cried every moment I left his line of sight, the toddler who spent the entire day after he learned to walk trying to kick a ball, falling down, getting back up again, and trying once again until he mastered it.
I saw the child who loved animals so much I called him Saint Francis of Assisi, the child who protected his little sister, teaching her of the cosmos and the heavenly bodies. I saw the child who’d curl up in my arms, reminding me that, while everything feels like a whirlwind, it would, indeed, be okay.
My heart filled with pride as I kissed the top of his head, my eyes full, for once, of happy tears.
He blinked again up at me, studying the lines of my face as he asked, “Mom, can I take the Powerwheel to school today?”
And just like that, the infant turned toddler turned child started his first day of school.
All in the wink of the blink.