5:15. The sun has yet to shine its rays between my curtains.
I push the clock toward my face, and in the process, push my glasses to the floor.
I'm now wide awake, on hands and knees, searching for my eyes.
I find them under the bed and I set them where they belong.
I adjust to the darkness of the day that is yet to come and shrug out of my fleece armor-
socks, pants, turtleneck.
5:25. In the far corner of my house, in a small room, under a window facing the woods, I fall out of my life before I've woken long enough to recall what the day brings. Netflix and chill.
The time ticks as my feet plod along the treadmill. Bed now feels hours away, or at least 30 minutes away as I'm now 30 minutes distanct from quiet dreams and 30 minutes closer to reality.
6:30. Sweaty and tired, in a good way, I walk through the house clicking on lights and quietly whispering the morning war cry:
Rise and shine! Good morning! Rise and shine! Yes, it's a school day. Another one. Just like that.
The house has gone from soft breathing, to a steady thump, thump, thumping of my solitary feet, to the chorus of my family preparing for the day ahead.
Taylor Swift sings Bad Blood as underpants are put on bottoms.
Cats meow in neglect for they don't need to catch the bus in 15 minutes.
The dog's nails click clack across the wood floor as he follows anyone, and everyone, though their morning duties.
He rests 2 inches from my feet as I fit in 10 squats in one child's room as she dresses ever. so. slowly.
6:45. I've made it a race: you get your socks on before I finish these push ups. You get your shirt on before I finish this jumping jack. We both come out winners. I get some ab mucles and she doesn't have to get on the bus naked.
6:50. I weave in and out of rooms, directing, with coffee in hand.
Brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Put on your boots. Put on your hat. Husband, please help her comb her hair. Husband, help her find her hat. Husband, feed the cat.
7:00. There's mostly smiles, though from time to time there are tears. I try not to get them in my coffee. There are always grumbles.
Sweat pours and hearts pound as the little arm speeds around the clock much faster than what seems humane.
Times are shouted out into the air.
Have you seen my necklace?<:>
7:08. Which one?
The one I can't find!
7:10. It's in your closet, on the floor, under a dirty sock.
Can you come find it for me?
I really need that necklace!
7:16. The bus will be here any minute!
I can't go to school without that necklace.
I can't do this again, today, or I'm going to go insane.
A 30 second stand off ensues.
Arms crossed, feet stomp, threats passed in each direction.
Necklace glints as it passes from Daddy to child.
The standoff is over and I resign myself to losing, not because I give up, but because I hear the squeal of the bus as it comes to a halt in front of our house.
We scamper to the bus and muffle I love yous into scarves and hats and do our very best not to cry as they press their faces to the glass and make heart shapes with their hands as the bus slides away.
7:23. I miss them already.