Oh yes, it is the that time, my friends. The weekend has ended. We must set alarms and rise, however, shinning for so many seems to be optional. We must face what the day and week have in store for us. I wish I could say that we do that here with honor and grace, but, I promised I would be honest and in doing that I need to admit that Mondays are for Meltdowns at my house.
If you would be so kind, please allow me to paint you a picture of what exactly I mean.
No one wants to wake up. I can not seem to understand this because on both Saturday and Sunday, when these lovely little people could have slept until brunch time, they were poking me and “whispering”, MOM! I need you! Mom! Where is my (insert the name of any random thing of which they couldn’t have cared less about all summer, but now at 5:26am, they need or they sound as if they are on the brink of a mental breakdown.) Mom? I NEED IT. Of course you do,my sweet, sweet angel. Let me just stop trying to rest up for the marathon that is called mothering so we can find your plastic vampire teeth. Obviously a priority.
Not only do they not want to wake up, they have forgotten how to get dressed. They wander down the stairs like sleep walking vagabonds, mumbling about how they, don’t wanna. I try and empathize. Yeah, yeah, I don’t wanna too, trust me. I don’t wanna say, please get dressed 287 times before 7:30am. But, I’m gonna reach down deep and say number 288. So please for the love of all that is holy, unless you plan to go to school in your hello kitty nightgown, you need to get dressed.
If, by the grace of God, who hears from me most on weekdays between the hours of 5am and 9am, Eastern Standard Time, we have four tiny humans dressed and at the table, we need to reserve a 40 minute window to consume a waffle, bagel or bowl of cereal. Most mornings there are children staring aimlessly into the fridge, pantry and cabinets, as if they are praying, for fantasia. I can almost feel their sleep glazed glare attempting to levitate the box of cereal and milk carton, to avoid having to exert the energy they obviously do not possess.
Most mornings, they are telling me about how much they want to stay home, go back to sleep, craft, color, play outside with each other. I lovingly remind them that they just had two days to do that and instead of doing any of those things they fought with each other and complained about how boring it was to be home. Seriously?
It gets closer to bus departure time and we have the obligatory crying over spilled milk, literally. The ceremonious (this has happened 3 times prior) dropping, cracking and water guzzling out of the water bottle, onto the floor by the entryway, prime time slippage spot. Our dog, who loves to make a run for it while I am distracted and one of the kids opens the front door, escapes. Crying ensues about how we will never see her again. We get into the van to go find her and my little guy remembers he left his Captain America sweatshirt at Grandma’s house. More crying. We miss the bus.
With white knuckles on the steering wheel, I take a few deep breaths. I would like to say I am beyond the Monday Morning Meltdowns. I would say this to you and then I would be a liar. Not proud to admit, but there are times I yell back. There are times I am so overwhelmed with this mission of getting my clan out the door that I am in tears with them. This stuff is hard. Even harder when you are tired, outnumbered and feeling like no matter how hard you try, nothing is going right. During those deep breaths I hear the clique so many have said to me over the years, as a form of comfort.
You are going to miss this.
A phrase I could not have possibly understood at the time. A phrase I have laughed and scoffed at, stuck my nose in the air and said, please! Miss this manic morning chaos? Highly unlikely. A phrase that was a joke to me until this Monday. The first Monday all of my kiddos got on the bus for a full day of school.
I didn’t cry when I watched them all walk up the bus steps, but I did feel overwhelmed.Not the same as the morning routine overwhelmed. Overcome with emotions. I was proud of them, and me, for all the years of morning meltdowns leading up to this moment. I was hopeful for the people they are becoming and the relationships they have the opportunity to impact at their school. I was a little sad, too. I had a sense of longing for them as the morning went on and the house was so quiet I could hear every creak and moan. I was now that Mom, the one who could say to all the mom’s who came before her, you were right. I may not feel like I am going to “miss this” in the morning, not when the girls are arguing about whose socks are whose or when my son has locked himself in the bathroom and painted it with toothpaste to stay entertained. Not when they are refusing to brush their hair or telling me they already brushed their teeth when any nose anywhere would disagree. But, come the stillness of the afternoon, I can begin to understand where these moms have been coming from all these years.
And then I cry. And call my mom. Because it must be hard to be on the other end too. To have silence where so much incredible noise used to be.