Am I too late?
It’s 7:30, and the relaxed feel at the breakfast table is replaced by the grinding sounds of my children shifting into high gear.”Where’s my snack?””In your backpack already.””I need money for our field trip.””Bring me my checkbook.”
“Did you sign my homework?””What homework?!””I can’t find my shoes!””Look in the car.””I see kids walking to the bus already!””It’s OK, there’s still five minutes. Did you all brush your teeth?”
“Oh my gosh, I didn’t brush my teeth! I have to brush my teeth! We’re gonna be late!”I have a feeling that this scene is being played out, in some form or fashion, in living rooms across this great nation. It doesn’t matter how organized, how connected, how relaxed the morning is. At 10 minutes to whatever time we need to be someplace, we suddenly start talkingreallyfastandloudandourvoicesgethigherandhigher as we reach for the elusive goal of being anywhere on time. And despite my best efforts over the years, I have yet to come across any advice for this dilemma that is truly meaningful. I like the morning routine charts that some professionals recommend. They even work sometimes. I am also a huge advocate of getting to bed early and laying clothes out the night before. I’ve trained our kids to start packing backpacks, football gear, soccer cleats and snacks before going to bed at night. I even play a little classical music in the morning and try to create a cozy feel. It all works great until 10-of.
Oh, there have been mornings when it goes without a hitch and we make it calmly and politely to the car with time to spare. But these unruffled scenes are usually the ones followed by me screeching the car to a halt and turning around in the neighbor’s driveway when I remember I’ve left my purse/briefcase/child in the front entryway.On the rare occasions when I’ve had to get up and leave the house early before anyone else is stirring, I do just fine. No running through the halls or pouring myself a steaming cup of coffee-to-go only to leave it on the kitchen counter and find it hours later cold and congealed. There’s actually a sense of composure and, dare I say, maturity about my own private mornings. So perhaps that’s the key. When the kids are grown and gone and it’s just my husband and me bumbling about together I suppose we’ll be everywhere on time. No more frantic cries for homework help and frenzied lunch-packing. No more scrambling for gear or running back into the house for one more thing. I’ll have nothing to blame my tardiness on except for my own lack of punctuality. Mornings will be settled, relaxed. Calm.Come to think of it, I rather like this hectic life. Charla Belinski’s column appears every other Sunday in the Post Independent unless she’s running late. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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