Up at 6 am, still dark, front blinds closed but white LED garland lights around the living room windows have clicked on, lending quiet cheer. Was intending to keep my daughter company and try to be useful to her while she gets ready for high school. But she has everything she needs; we touch base on the plan later today–is she going to big brother’s swim meet? Not sure–she’ll text me from school. I put on a pot of breakfast sausages to boil, for easy breakfasts during the week. Nothing much else to do, unless I turn on lots of lights, so I go back to rest, but a slight headache reprimands me for sloth, and my daughter calls because my pot is boiling over. Always set a timer, I remind myself.
Oldest son is now up. Always a good morning from him, in his formal-sounding friendly way: “Good morning, mother!” I fix him a non-dairy vegetarian sandwich that will nourish him before the big swim meet. Daughter calls bye and the front door clunk-clicks shut.
Second son, youngest of the four, gets up with a sigh, accepts an offer of scrambled eggs and sausage. I exhort him to change clothes, especially underwear, as he’d stretch an outfit to the limit if he could. Help him find stuff, give him lunch money and leash the dogs to walk him to the bus stop. It’s still foggy and cool, but I can sense the sun blasting away above the cold blanket, angling for a better shot. The pup wants to jump and lick the other children, and they laugh as I speak for her, “Oh please, please–I want to kiss them, I have to kiss them!” I head home, see the oldest off in the extra Honda, then my middle daughter is up and moving about, annoyed for having risen late. I ask if she needs anything. She likes to be asked, but is very self-sufficient. I sign a form for her, go over the plan for early pickup from school, ask if I can walk with her on the way to Moms in Prayer down at the church. She declines, appalled, then apologizes, I say I understand. She hurries off.
It’s nine. I decide to stay home and work, and jot down a list: Tax returns, call 4-H office, apply first coat of finish to drawer fronts, take doors in to be machined for hanging, choose counter trim. I make a latte, sit down at the computer, check and answer emails, resist the temptation to log onto WordPress, and set to work.