The mornings are cruel again. 5:45 does not come easily to me. Especially after such a long spate of respite: ten whole days of late risings. No bus to be met, lunches made, homework double checked, backpacks packed, sleepy children to be cajoled and scolded into hurry, hurry, hurrying through pajama shedding, clothing donning, teeth brushing, and breakfast wolfing.
I don't realize how much I adore our languidly paced mornings until they are gone, gone, gone. Children in pajamas until lunchtime or later (me too, some days, me too). Sigh.
Back in the grind now. 3 hours of my workday slogged through by 8:45. My workday which feels like 24 hours sometimes. The 24-7 that is parenting, even still when they are located elsewhere for 6 hours of that, because there is always the clean-up and the prep and the appointments to be made and the insurance companies to spend hours on the phone with because clearly my time could not possibly be valuable.
And then there are the phone calls to come pick them up from school because what was seemingly just cranky in the morning has turned into puking or fever by lunchtime. So all plans are scotched and I must be given over to being a lap, a pillow, the warm safe place my ill child needs to be curled up into. But thankfully not today.
My "to do" list would frighten even the most efficient and stalwart, and that is certainly not me, not even by a long shot. I can only pick and choose today, selecting the screamingly urgent and the seemingly doable to push up to the top, attempt to tackle. I promise myself to not start out the new year feeling failed, inadequate; to accept that I will only get do much done, that reading with my children is more important than a tidy house.
But we must have food, my mother must have her medications, the mountain of clean laundry must get sorted, drawered and shelved before my children wail that they have no underpants to wear.
I blink and it's time to meet Jake's bus home. Don't ask how much of the list I've gotten to, I don't want to talk about it.
Today, sitting on the sofa, munching his chips, Jake asked me "What did you do today when you were waiting for me, Mommy?" (meaning while he was at school). He's never asked anything at all like that and I was floored.
And even though he got bored with the answer before I was halfway through, still my heart sang with the question asked, with his knowing I am a separate person who does things he doesn't know about when I'm not with him, with his curiosity, his interest in the world outside himself. (Pffft to the notion of the autistic lacking a "theory of mind.")
It aroused this thing called hope that flutters its butterfly wings in my chest sometimes. It comes when he asks to see my face when I'm looking elsewhere, when he springs to my side to share something he's happy about (usually a win on his DS game but I'm not going to be picky), when he showers kisses up and down my arm like Gomez to Morticia and says "I love you Mommy" out of the blue.
I love you too, baby, I love you too.
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