Creeping into consciousness, I cracked open one eye to peek at my clock. 7:14.
I rolled over and went back to sleep. Each time I awoke between 7:14 and 8:27, I thought, I’m not ready to get up yet. I need to sleep while I can. My days are numbered. Must sleep.
I’m not a morning person. Not even close. Most mornings, I feel like I could lay in my bed for hours, even if I’m not asleep. I love my sheets. I love my pillow. I love my squishy pillowtop mattress. My bed is a cozy cocoon, and I am its warm, fuzzy caterpillar, beautifully transforming as I hide away from the rest of the world.
Or something like that. Whatever my bed is, I could stay there all day.
No, really. I could. My kids know how to pour their own cereal and dress themselves, and what’s a few more hours of television? They’ll live. They can survive without me. I enjoy my quiet room. No one bothers me. No one talks to me. I’m exquisitely comfortable.
Except I have to pee. And eventually, I start thinking about a cup of creamy coffee. And my stomach inevitably starts to grumble.
OK. I’ll get up.
After a leisurely morning on my back patio, accompanied by my coffee, the newspaper, and the Book of Common Prayer, I may throw in a load of laundry, possibly unload the dishwasher, briefly consider a few Cinderella chores. At some point, I’ll change from my soft cotton pajamas into my bathing suit, eat some lunch, and head out to the pool.
It’s a tough life.
Such is the summer. But, alas, all good things must come to a screeching halt, and by the third Monday of August (as deemed by the Texas Legislature), my mornings of relaxation reach an abrupt coda.
The end of summer denotes an end to thirteen hours of togetherness and interruptions and arguments. Hence, less hours of whining and defiance and disobedience. Less talking. Fewer questions. Not as much top-of-their-lungs-singing-and-screeching. That I will not miss.
But it’s also less laughter, less playtime, less heart-to-hearts. And as much as I complain about all the togetherness, I will miss all the togetherness.
The buzzing alarm clock will replace my blissful mornings of rest. Scrambling to make breakfasts and pack lunches will supersede sipping coffee on the patio. Carpools will displace floating in the pool.
It happens every year. And every year, I look at a list of all we will have to do each week and the places we will have to go every afternoon, and I panic. I wonder if cloning is really that unethical because I sure could use an extra Me. Darn the luck that I can only be in one place at a time.
I would so rather be in bed.
But no. I must put my feet on the floor, splash some cold water on my face, and fire up the Keurig. I will be the mom in the carline sporting the baseball cap and flannel pajama pants, and if it’s a good day, I might wear shoes. I will make sure they have their backpacks and their lunch boxes, kiss them all, tell them I love them, wish them a good day, and wave as they exit the van. Then I will take a deep breath, soak in the silence, drive home.
Where I will promptly crawl back into my bed and take a nap.