I LOVE getting breakfast and lunch together for my daughter. I’m not a supermom.
Sometimes I wake up before the alarm, only to hear it sound off a few seconds later and my body sinks even deeper into the mattress. I’m just like any other working mom out there. I have those mornings of wanting “five more minutes” only to get out of bed to avoid the panic of oversleeping.
But I remember a time when I couldn’t get breakfast for her. It was right after surgery and it continued to the time during chemo and radiation. My eyes would flash open at 430 in the morning because I knew I needed an hour and a half to get myself up, mobile and shuffling to the kitchen to barely zip up the lunch bag and kiss her good-bye. I may never know just how alone she felt, as she left each morning, hearing me let out a big breath as I closed the front door. Or when she came home and I could barely stay awake to hear her stories. Or help with homework.
I got to experience all the details of preparing for school this year with an alertness that I didn’t have in the past two years. So, on a Friday that is probably going to be in the 90’s meddling with humidity, I yank off the cozy blanket. WAKE UP! She’s here. You’re here. Don’t miss this!
I slice fruit. Fry a couple of eggs. Her lunch isn’t a gourmet meal. But I’m so careful, taking in the click and snap of the plastic containers with the salad and teriyaki chicken. Fork, Napkin. The cookies in the sandwich bag.
6:37am and she’s leaving in a few minutes. She’s getting on a school bus and she might not have time to read her Bible. How else can I be with her today?
I call her name to double-ask her something about her books, her p.e. clothes. Another reminder. But really, it’s because I want to hear her voice. She comes out of her room and I get a whiff of the lotion she decided to use that morning. I have my back turned to her, as I slice her sandwich into three parts. I hear the whizzing of the spray-on sunblock.
Clinking of keys and I’m walking with her to the bus stop. The other kids are there already and she turns to face me, “I love you, Mom.” That’s my cue. But I play stupid.
“I love you, too,” then give her a kiss on the cheek. She’s smiling, looking at me steadily, “Oh, you want me to go?” She nods, discreetly. She’s used to protecting my feelings. I tell her to have a good day. As if I needed one more thing to tell her. Then I walk around the corner, but wait there, until I see for myself that the bus pulls up.
I remember when my big strategy for the morning was how I could get us out of the house fast enough so I could make a show at getting to my desk at the office ten minutes before my clock-in time. Those mornings, it was like dropping off luggage and then I was gunning it to work. Was it worth it?
The walk home now is less than ten minutes. She started her day and I can get on with mine. But not until after….breakfast.
I pray you cherish those routines.