8:29 and 20 seconds. R slips on his shoes, grabs his Thomas the Train backpack and dashes out the door and down our driveway. I lunge over the counter to snatch his folder that got left behind and chase him just a step behind. Baby in one arm, folder in the other, M right on my heals. Howard, our dog barrels down the hill after us. The bus comes at 8:30. Breathlessly we exchange hugs and watch the big yellow bus round the corner and screech to a stop. We have it down to an art.
As the younger two, dog and I walk back up the hill, I vow to not have a repeat the next day. But then the next day comes. And the next, and the next, and the next. N, our one-year-old, spills a glass of water at every meal. M ALWAYS has his shoes on the wrong feet, pants and underwear on backwards, and I’m always questioning how it’s closer to 95% of the time and not 50% (really, shouldn’t it be closer to 50% if it’s just by chance?? I’m baffled).
If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I’m afraid we are all a bit loony at our house.
Some nights I go to bed dreaming of waking up BEFORE my kids are tugging at our covers and pulling on our toes, having steaming waffles and homemade yogurt on the table that we all sit down to eat as a family, getting a shower, walking out the door at 8:25 with clothes on correlating body parts, right direction and shoes attached to the correct feet. I dream of folding the clothes immediately as I pull them out of the dryer while listening to children playing nicely in the other room. Maybe even hearing, “Oh dear brother, won’t you please pass that block over there? Oh, yes! You can certainly join me in building this giant tower. Oh dear, N just destroyed it. That’s ok! Let’s build it again!” Making an amazing, un-burned dinner as they sit in the family room reading stories quietly to themselves. Having children say, “Darling Mother, how may I assist you with dinner? Could I set the table to help?” Then, “Bedtime? Oh, I’ve already brushed AND used the bathroom! No need to nag.”
Then other nights I dream. I dream of a boy that loves school and thinks riding the bus is the best mode of transportation in the whole wide world. I dream of three built-in alarm clocks that never let us waste a second of a bright new morning. I dream of another boy that proudly dresses himself every day. Inside-out underwear, backwards shirt and pants, and un-matching socks to shoes and hat. I dream of a toddler that eats and drinks almost anything placed in front of him (bugs and worms included) and (or maybe but) is healthy and happy. Three boys who are the best of friends, despite the bickering and petty arguments, a pile of unfolded clean clothes meaning that we can stay warm, beds that might not always be made but give us a comfortable place to sleep, and a messy house that keeps our family safe.
8:29 and 20 seconds. A record I’m sure we can improve on. But until that miraculous day, I’ll try to remind myself that among the little thorns I have so many sweet, beautiful roses.