I’m awoken abruptly by the roar of an engine and a strobe light illuminating my bedroom. The sky is still dark as I glance at the clock. 5:49 a.m. The high school bus groaned down the road with the teenage girls who live across the street aboard.
I let my head fall back into my pillow and close my eyes. Five years ago, my infant son and I would be on the road with that bus. He would be all geared up for daycare and I would be downing my coffee in a travel mug. The heat would be seeping through the car vents and the headlights would be lighting the way. I pulled up the covers.
Soon, I hear the pitter-patter of feet making their way down to the living room. Giggles and chatter begin to fill the house. My sons are ready to start the day. My daughter is singing to herself in her crib. Stretching, I slip on my sweatshirt and head to the kitchen. I turn on the coffee maker and heat the pan. Here come the good morning hugs and kisses. Here come the stories about last nights dreams.
All of my pajama clad babies are now playing together in the morning light in the kitchen as their pancakes begin to bubble on the stovetop. My mind again flashes back as I take a peek the clock. 6:52 a.m. Five years ago, my son would have been in his classroom and I would have been in mine, greeting students for the day.
Pancakes are flipped onto plates oozing with blueberries. My five year old pours milk for himself and his brother. The morning news in playing softly on the radio as I sit with my children at the kitchen table. Their smiles covered in pancakes topped with milk mustaches. I have my cinnamon sprinkled coffee in a warm Mickey mug. We have a busy day ahead but for now, I am in the moment soaking it all in.
My five year old climbs on my lap to finish his breakfast. I joke he is my Labrador, he is bigger than he realizes but will snuggle with me anytime. Instead of sitting behind my classroom desk with my students settling in for the day, I am home settling with my loves for the day.
It has been an interesting transition for me. This is the first year I did not have the back to school jitters, even though I left my classroom five years ago. Today is the first day of public school for so many children. If my family had chosen the more conventional route, we would be waiting for that school bus now, 7:30 a.m.. Today, I hug my kindergartener, my first born, tight as we wrap up breakfast and talk about the tilt of the Earth’s axis.
Happy first day of kindergarten my son. I am so honored to be here with you for it.
By Beth Daley