Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pink Sky in the Morning

Five a.m is the highlight of my day. It is the calm before the storm, the pink sky of legend that painters immortalize and sailors take heed of. The rolling foothills of the Alleghenies are covered in mist and I can hear geese flying over the house to nest in the wetlands just across the road. It is peaceful, a few minutes of quiet, of going to the bathroom without a child bursting in with a demand or a complaint, a who did what or a I need this. I sit with a warm cup of and watch the kittens play and at five a.m they actually do look adorable, not just a chore, a responsibility, not another line on my honey-do list.
   When my cell phone alarm starts singing, I nearly jump from our bed. I know that if I do not jump, I will not get up. I want nothing more than to just sleep. Sleep is all I think about. I wake up thinking about sleep and most of the day I wish for it. As I get up, Laura searches for me in the empty space I leave behind and I snuggle my fattest pillow up next to her. It makes me smile. I am overwhelmed but this show of need makes me happy. Most of the time I dream of hands reaching and grabbing and pulling me down. But when Laura reaches for me it is comforting. When I work for Laura she feels loved. "Doing" is Laura's love language. And mothering is an act of love, but the children do not ever feel that I have done enough. I was baking homemade bread last week and as I praised the virtues of making your own bread to Isabella, of knowing the exact ingredients that you feed your family, Seth smirked and decided that he needed to educate me, once again.
   "Store bought bread is better for you. It is actually genetically engineered in a lab to BE healthy." He said. And I really tried to argue this with him but fourteen year olds are never wrong. It was apparently very quickly that I was argueing with my ex husband and I gave up. I was appalled. I was spending hours making bread and every minute that I stood there was a minute spent on my feet in pain. And I was doing this out of love because would it be easier to go spend two dollars on Wonder Bread? Hell Yes! Yet, I was making this bread all of one meal of French Toast just for this boy who wanted nothing to do with it and thought that every thing that I did was inefficient and just plain wrong. He thinks he can do it better and there are days I want to go on strike and give him his shot.
   Unfortunately, in five minutes, the second alarm of the day will go off. Even though I started getting up at five to give Ian a chance to do homework without his siblings upsetting him (yesterday Seth told him that he is sick to death of seeing him in his Sue Sylvester track suits and that was just the beginning), he has chosen lately to sleep in after I wake him. So I spend this time alone and wake him at six thirty with the other four kids. I should look forward to waking them but I know that I will have to really push Sage to just do simple things, like put on underwear and what could be nice will only very rarely really be nice for us. I will make Seth cappuccino, as long as we have it in the house and thank God we do today and that early caffeine addiction will put a smile on his face for a bit this morning. Riley is always unpredictable but is usually just putting his shoes on when everyone else is climbing the steps to the school bus. Isabella has to be treated with kid gloves and is just not a morning person. And Ian. He will sit with his nose in a book and take punch after punch while I encourage him to try hard to fit in as best as he can. We all try to do this as quietly as we can so that we do not wake Laura.
   As soon as they leave today, I will get dressed to work. I do not work often, but occasionally I am able to cater parties for a professor in town. I cook and serve and clean up and it is an all day affair and totally grueling. I usually cannot move for days but we desperately need the money. I did not get the sleep I wanted last night and would love to cancel but the kids have a chorus trip this weekend and I need to do this for them. If only they understood and could make this morning a sun shining, blue skied, birds chirping kind of day.
   Beep Beep Beep Beep....

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