Back in the day—what? thirty-five years ago?—I did it every day. Got four children off to Alice Carlson Elementary school every morning. I can’t remember if I packed lunches or not, but I suspect I did—I was that kind of mother. Another thing I can’t remember is whether or not I did homework with them. Certainly it wasn’t as intense as Jacob’s is these days. But this last week of school, he has no homework. What a relief.
Today and tomorrow I find myself getting him out the door to school at 7:50 in the morning. He refuses a packed lunch, so I tuck a baggie of money into his backpack. Tonight we showered and shampooed—a major undertaking, if I do say so. Tomorrow there will be the routine of waking him up, not an easy task in itself. Then he tells me he always watches TV while his mom and dad fix breakfast. How long do you think it takes me to toast frozen waffles and pour syrup on them? My kids never got such good sweet stuff for breakfast. I know I insisted on a healthy breakfast, but I’ll be darned if I came remember what it was. I know they did not watch TV while they waited for breakfast.
Then Jacob dresses, brushes teeth, uses mouthwash, and brushes his hair—all of which he does himself with his eagle-eyed grandmother watching and daring to make suggestions which are rejected. It’s that blasted cowlick! Elizabeth walks him down the street and to his classroom, an outing they both enjoy.
Today I went to the grocery, and it seemed like the morning was over before it began. Grabbed lunch and a nap and there I was, picking him up at school. There was a school “cultural festival” tonight, and bless the neighbors who took Jacob along with their two boys. As I said, “I served my time thirty-five years ago.”
I have new admiration for all my children who do that daily. I did it all, but now I can’t imagine how. Having Jacob here is a delight, and it makes me nostalgic for some of the happiest days of my life. But it also makes me tired.