It’s 6:00am and I’m awake. The sun and moon are in a battle to see whose light will win the morning. Through slats in the bedroom blinds, I peer out to see the cold, navy hue the battle has cast over our tiny yard.
It’s the same every morning when I should be up, not just awake. The sun and moon battling. The sun always winning out in the end. Me being awake, but not up; knowing the extra thirty minutes means the difference between leaving with or without makeup, stress versus ease in wrangling my daughter out the door and on the road to school.
Still, I stay awake, but not up.
A half hour later, I’m up…and like someone fired a starter pistol near my ear, I’m washing myself, double-checking with her about lunch, knee pads, gym clothes, does the dog have fresh water – and where is the dog anyway?
Then we’re leaving and I remember my rings – the one of promise, the one that sealed the deal and the one that reminds me that I’m a mom. Where are they? The starter pistol rings in my ear again and I decide my ring fingers will have to broadcast Un-Promised-To, Unmarried, Unmothering for today.
And so we leave. Make-up-less, hair in rebellion, naked fingers and all; when upon unlocking the garage door after a five minute fight, I discover that the car's gone. Just a big empty space in its place...and I remember my husband took my car and I'm supposed to take his. Big truck. Big awkward truck.
We pile in and drive a few clips over the speed limit because the tardy bell's ringing louder than the starter pistol could ever fire. But now a school bus hems me in. Jackass, I mutter. My daughter turns a cold-unchirpy version of herself for the rest of the ride because I said The A Word. I apologize, we arrive at school and I push her out of the car well in advance of the tardy bell.
I leave her school, down the narrow one-way neighborhood street that's lined with trees. Their auburn leaves allow trickles of the sunlight -- the winner of this morning's battle -- to seep through. Driver-side doors open unexpectedly to the left and right, then hastily exchanged glares, then more Jackass muttering minus my daughter's disapproval. Finally three loops around the cold cement structure that leads to a resting stop for the big awkward truck, and I'm in the office.
In work mode. Piecing together a laptop and projector for a meeting. Hoping, praying that there's time for make-up...when my boss tells me I've set up equipment
Today they'll live back in time when it was okay to just be awake and not up.