Thursday, April 5, 2012

mornings

Typical mornings around here:

Scriptures are at 6:30. The kids wander in one by one, bleary-eyed and in a daze, except for Max who is showered and ready for the day.

They curl into little balls with their scriptures and try their best to follow along.

Because Dave gets frustrated when they don't know which verse they are on when it's their turn to read.

We have family prayer. We kneel around our big ottoman. Claire says long prayers when it's her turn. She remembers to bless everything from her cousin on a mission to some girl at school.

Dave usually has the sandwiches for lunches spread out on the counter.

I'm in charge of making the breakfast.

Max scrambles to eat and throw his lunch together. If we ask him to do something he huffs and exclaims he has one minute. He heads out the door at 6:55 in a hurry, backpack and volleyball bag in hand (which he has to carry around all day). He always leaves us with an "I love you."

Most days Dave and I are either done with a work out or headed to one.

The kitchen is a disaster.

Grace and Claire dawdle like nobody's business while Elle disappears to do her hair. Lucy prefers her Hello Kitty pajama shirt alone. No confining pj pants for her if she can possibly help it.

Her job is to empty the silverware from the dishwasher.

Grace and Claire talk about so-and-so at school. They tell me about a nice substitute they had. They talk about the new playground equipment they just got and how there are lines to use it every day. They dawdle some more.

I tell Grace 46 times to practice. I tell Claire 39 times to get her lunch packed.

Grace and Claire turn on music and make up a dance.

Lucy claims she needs Kix (cereal) even after she just ate pancakes.I remind the girls to get to their jobs: Grace does the dishes. Claire clears the counters.

Partially.

Then they get distracted and file through papers in their backpacks for me to sign. We throw out papers after papers about after-school clubs and advertisements to Disneyland.

I sign Grace's agenda.

I sign Claire's reading log with another "0 minutes read" and kick myself that in the scramble we forgot to read last night.

For the hundredth time I wish I were more of a Tiger Mother. Sometimes I say it aloud. And Elle rolls her eyes from the piano bench and says, "Mom, you ARE a Tiger Mother!" as she plunks out her latest piano tune I've told her to do for the eighth time since she can't seem to get that one part right.

That comment that I'm a Tiger Mother makes my morning, even though I know it's not true. I'm a push-over if ever there was one.

Elle emerges, hair done and mascara applied. She pulls on her zebra backpack, fills a plastic cup with left-over smoothie and waves goodbye. Off to meet her friends on her long-board. I wonder again how she keeps up with the bike-riders on that thing.

Grace and Claire are half-way through their jobs. Lucy has spilled her milk. I pitch in and help them scramble to get ready since one friend has already showed up to grab them for school. The phone rings three different times from other friends, asking if they're ready yet.

Claire is still not wearing shoes.

But they pull it together, like they always do, and I send them off with a kiss and a hug. I tell them all I love them (even their friends, cause I do).

And then the house is quiet. And the kitchen is clean. And Lu and I get ready for whatever is on the agenda next: swim class, exercise class, dance class...

I'm so grateful for typical mornings. As slow and messy and frustrating as they can be, I love to be in the middle of them. Because it means I am a mother. And although there are always things I kick myself to get better at, I am trying. And I'm ok with that.
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