4:53 – The alarm on my phone goes off for the first time. Here’s where I admit to a neurotic fear of falling back asleep and starting everyone’s day hours behind schedule. That sweet 4:53 chime is only one of seven alarms set to go off between 4:53 and 6:32. Each alarm is set to go off in increasing degrees of loudness and increasing degrees of obnoxiousness. If that train whistle blows full blast through my bedroom I know I’m in trouble!
5:20 – I have snoozed those alarms long enough and, since clinging to the few inches of the bed Kaleb has left me is not that restful anyway, I roll out, careful to not wake him. I (again) grumble under my breath that this night will be different, that this night he will either sleep in the room he shares with George and Noah or he will learn to not turn horizontal in the middle of the night.
5:22 – Obligatory greeting for Lucy (our cat) because, in an effort to teach me better manners, he/she will crawl under my legs and take me down in our darkened hallway if I don’t. Trust me. It’s happened.
I thankfully fix my first cup of coffee, tons of sugar and loads of milk – Major addiction of mine!
5:30 – I sit and read my Bible, taking notes on the parts that hit home. I love this time between 5:00 and 6:30. Exhausted as I am sometimes, it is this quiet, peaceful daily Bible reading followed by my morning workout that keeps me grounded, focused, and positive. No matter what happens later, I know I will begin my day in utter peace.
6:00 – First wake up call to the Troy and George. I know there will be many more for these two.
6:10 – I force myself to begin a Cross-Fit AMRAP workout put together by Troy and my cousin, Will, and modified by me to be Real Mom Cross-Fit. It might not be worthy of my own workout video, but it works in my real mom real world.
6:50 – Work out ends – I have used my “Jogging Time” to jog upstairs and get the boys at least twice before resorting to threats of a pots and pans parade. As much as I dislike starting the workout, I know when it’s over I’ll be glad for what I’ve accomplished. Thanks Troy and Will! 🙂
7:10 – A minimum of nine sandwiches are made and the first shuttle to school begins.
7:25 – After sitting in car pool for what seems like forever, I complete the 2.5 minute ride to and from the school in time to meet Noah for our morning game of show-no-mercy Sorry.
8:00 – I shower and get ready for work dreading getting out of the steaming water, but the constant opening of the door as Kaleb reports whatever Noah is doing to him this time finally drives me out.
8:15 – I start wondering where my mother is and get anxious about making it to work on time. I decide my outfit looks awful; I am too fat; my clothes are too tight; my hair is too curly, and I dash back to my room hoping for a miracle as I attempt a complete makeover in under ten minutes.
8:25 – I hear my mother come in. Noah yells about being late and that he has to be at school early because he has morning duty. I begin digging frantically under the pile of clothing I have thrown around my room desperately trying to find an outfit to hide my fatness. I finally locate my original outfit now lying in a crumpled heap on the floor and put it back on glancing quickly in the mirror on the way out the door.
8:27 – I step out into the hallway. Noah thinks I am finally ready to go, but I suddenly remember that when I had changed outfits, I had also changed bras and now can’t wear the navy bra that looked great with outfit #32 black turtleneck but will never go with outfit #1’s white shirt. I hear Noah let out an exasperated, “MOOOOOOM!” as I give him the finger (not that one! The one that says, “One second, precious!”) and dash in to change one last time.
8:35 – I wave frantic goodbyes to Kaleb after guiltily giving him hundreds of kisses and hugs, I listen to 10 minutes of my mom’s stories of everything that has happened in the last 24 hours; then I listen to her reprimand me about how I should have left 10 minutes ago. She offers to take Noah to school, but I know she’s only doing it because she thinks I can’t (Okay, maybe she does it to be nice, but in my head – I have something to prove – I can do this!)
8:40 – We pull out of the driveway and speed toward the school.
At the school, I sing Noah our Good Bye Song, which he says embarrasses him even though I only sing it quietly in the car. I tell him he will appreciate my song one day. He tells me to please just be quiet. I tell him I love him. He makes a face at me but says he loves me too as he climbs out over the front seat since the back door is broken.
8:42 – I am breathless and high on my 4th or 5th cup of coffee as I finally begin my 20+ minute drive to way to work for its 9:00 start. Miraculously, I have made it every time. Thank you Jesus!
9:00 – I wave to the security guard. No time to say hello now. For a few short hours, I can forget the insanity of the morning and the fact that I am a single mom and the insanity I will face returning home, and I can do a job I love with students who inspire me and even other adults capable of carrying on real conversations.
And already, I know it’s going to be a great day!
** The above recitation is a typical morning. This in no way includes those mornings where Kaleb pukes in the car and his brothers arrive at school screaming and gagging or the times when empty water bottles and old tennis balls go tumbling across the car pool parking lot holding up a line of immaculately groomed parents and bored teenagers aggravated by the holdup or any number of other true and often repeated but somehow unpredictable morning possibilities.