Most mornings in my house consist of me waking and dreading the next hour of my day. It is nonstop action from the moment my feet hit the floor, and believe me I’d rather them not. I have two dogs that insist upon being walked and fed before any other activity in the house is done. Then there is the requisite uniform conversation where I will learn the girl’s uniform isn’t washed. I have been known to throw that uniform right into the dryer with a dryer sheet, tumble, and voila! a clean uniform, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Then there is lunch and breakfast hell. I trudge into the kitchen, make lunches, try to come up with a witty something for the daily note that goes into the girl’s lunch (the boy would be mortified) and then I bark out orders like,
“Take your vitamins!”
“Don’t forget your Meds!”
“Do you have socks on?”
“Where’s your socks?”
“Did you brush your teeth?”
“Eat your food!”
It’s lovely, and you know what’s even more lovely? When at 7:32 (we have to leave at 7:30) today my girl announced, “I can’t find my shoes!”
So this morning completely frustrated, and exhausted because I was reading an awesome book until 12:30 am, I told her to just wear my sneakers and get in the damn car. Yes, she’s ten and has the same shoe size as me. My hubs is a big man, my kids are destined to be too. She’s been waiting to wear my sneakers, and probably planned it the whole time. Why she covets my shoes over hers I have no idea, but today I just wanted to drop them off at school and take my fleece sweatpant, with matching fleece sweatshirt, wearing body, outfitted with my favorite purple indestructible clogs, home for a nap. Until I learned God has a sense of humor.
“Mom, wow, well I guess your ready for mass?” My daughter says to me, eyeing my hair with it’s just rolled out of bed hairstyle.
“Today is the mass for Poppie at school.” She looks at me, realizing I have clearly forgotten. Last week I attended mass since she assured me I had the wrong date for the school mass that is being offered in honor of my father who passed in March, it wasn’t May 11th like I thought it was, but instead May 4th…yeah it was May 11th.
Panic pumped through my blood. I glanced at the clock, 7:36…
“Give me a minute!” I screamed as I jumped from the car, leaving the door ajar and raced inside to the laundry room. Stripping down to my undies I grabbed a pair of freshly folded jeans and a shirt, went to put on my sneakers and realized…she had them on her damn feet.
Tearing through the house I find my backup, casual/I don’t workout but I like sneakers, pair and race to the car holding them. Hopping in I push my feet into them and figure I’ll lace them when I get there. It’s 7:38, I have 18 minutes to get to school – a fete that takes normally 23 minutes.
My girl hates to be late, I know she will be annoyed. I missed my calling as a Nascar driver as I pulled up to her school at 7:56.
“I’ll be there I swear! I just gotta drop your brother off at his school!” I pleadingly tell her as I zoom from the parking lot. Flying around the corner, hanging a right at the light and a quick left I pull up at his school and barely slow for him to exit the car. Back out on the open road I reverse course to her school, park, run across the street and make it to the church just as mass is starting.
I slink up the stairs to the balcony area to hang with all the parent’s of little ones. I am not main floor presentable. I push my hair behind my ears, curse myself for not having enough foresight to have at least thrown a piece of gum in my mouth to give my unbrushed teeth a hint of mint, and try to focus on the alter.
I held my it together until the mass offertory is read, “This mass is for James Rennick, grandfather of 5th grader…”
I watch from above as her classmates turn to my daughter, nodding. I see the little girl next to her reach out and comfort her. My daughter is the new girl in a class of kids that are from a tight knit group of families that have attended the school for years. She turns to me and our eyes meet, I nod, fighting back the tears that ultimately spilled over and down my cheeks. Excusing myself to the restroom I wiped my tears away, and blew my nose. In my haste to get out of the car I didn’t bring any tissues, not expecting to break down at the sound of my father’s name being read aloud and the kindness of the children in her class.
I miss my father a lot, but I am grateful for the school my girl goes to for giving her the comfort when she needed it. And Jesus doesn’t care what I wear and that I smelled, right?
My morning that truly started out in hell, ended in heaven.