Friday, March 9, 2012


I have a love/hate relationship with mornings.  I mostly hate them.  But they do have this one redeeming quality:  they bring me the fragrance of my warm, sleepy children (the softest creatures ever made).

Those first few moments with each child are my favorite part of the day.  But then we have to move on in order to get ready in time to take Nolan to school.  I miss the days of doing mornings at our own pace.  Now we have a list of tasks to be completed and a deadline for their completion.

My snuggles, smooches, and smells turn into reminders and often barked orders.  Finish your breakfast.  Brush your teeth.  Get your shoes on.  Stop saying that made-up word that sounds 99% like a cuss word.

This morning I was in the bathroom doing my hair when I overheard a conversation between Nolan (5) and Griffin (4) at the kitchen table.  They were discussing the Cinnamon Toast Crunch box.  

         Griffin:  That's not Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
         Nolan:  Yes it is.  {quite annoyed} 
         Griffin:  It can't be because it starts with "c" and c says "ck."
         Nolan:  Well, c can also say "sss."  Trust me.  I've been in school for over 100 days.

That's just one sample of our morning.  There were other hilarious conversations, as well as frustrating conversations.  Griffin told me, chin quivering, that he doesn't want to get shots on his first day of kindergarten.  (He doesn't start kindergarten for another year, and I did explain that he gets his 5-year-old shots at the doctor and not at school.)

After all the eating, dressing, brushing teeth, packing the backpack, and loading into the car comes the most painful part of my morning.  We drive to Nolan's school, and I park near the car line but not quite in it.  Nolan gives his siblings a quick half-hearted hug and kiss.  Then he pokes his head between the front seats so I can kiss him and rub my cheek against his baby-soft cheek.  I have to breathe deep and soak up enough of him to last me for the day.

Then we drive up into the car line and pull up in front of the school.  I immediately feel the pressure of all the cars lined up behind us and I tell Nolan again that I love him and try to gently scoot him out of the car.  He always struggles to get the car door closed on the first try, and I try not to stress about the extra seconds it takes for him to try again.

I can't drive away until I've seen him walk into the school, so I pull up out of everyone else's way and watch Nolan saunter up to the school door and hold it open for anyone else who happens to be going in at the same time.  I notice how little he looks in front of the big school.  And I think about how wrong it feels to let my baby walk himself into the school and down the long hallway to his classroom.  Once he is out of sight, I drive away and try to gather myself and redirect my attention to Griffin and Nora.

This morning was chilly but very sunny.  Halfway between the car and the school, Nolan turned around to face me.  He poked his chubby little fingers up out of his oversized coat sleeve and waved the "I love you" wave at me.  The sunshine practically illuminated his round face as he sweetly smiled.  And I felt the familiar heartache that I feel every single morning as I watch him walk into school and I will my foot to drive the car away from my child.      

I thought this was supposed to get easier.  After all, he has been in school for over 100 days.  But it still rips my heart out every time I drop him off and trust strangers to care for him and protect him.  I know this is just the tip of the heartache iceberg.  I know this is nothing compared to what's to come.  Dating.  College.  Marriage.  

For now I'm just so glad that he's young enough that he wants me to put a note in his lunch everyday, and he doesn't care if anyone sees the loving things I say to him.  He is not ashamed to wave the "I love you" wave in front of the whole car line.  And he doesn't mind that I nuzzle and smell him every single morning when he wakes up.

1 comment:

  1. And after reading this post, now I have to go pull myself together so I can redirect my attention to Jaxon and Dakota. Those kids of yours are so lucky to be loved so much by their mama, what a comfort for them to know they can always nuzzle up to you and wave I love you with the assurance that they will ALWAYS be loved by you!

    "Trust me, I've been in school for over 100 days" - best quote ever! You cannot argue with the knowledge of a >100 days kindergartner, they almost have life completely figured out now!