Gone with the Morning Rush

I’m up a half an hour late. The coffee brewing downstairs is calling my name. All I want is to go downstairs, pour myself a cup, and slowly wake up.

But…I’m late, and everyone is still asleep. How this happens on one of the two days that I need to be at work…well, that’s.just.perfect.

I flick Big Brother’s room light on…time to wake up…I sing as softly and as gently as I can muster in my already panicked state. Suddenly, this six year old who is normally up at the crack of dawn, is acting like a teenager. He grunts and pulls the covers over his head.

Time to try Little Sister next. Good morning sweetie, you have pictures at school today. She sits up, smiles big and hops out of bed. Oh, thank goodness. Thank you Little Sister.

I herd the three of us downstairs. My arms are loaded with two outfits, two pairs of socks, and Little Sister’s entourage of stuffed animals.

Big Brother and Little Sister get cozy on the couch. I turn on Jake and The Neverland Pirates and the morning rush begins.

Orange juice. Kids get dressed. Everyone uses the bathroom. Eat your cereal, but hurry, we’re late.

I’m sorry, I need to brush your hair. You have some serious bed head, that’s why I’m using the water.

Do you want one braid or two for your pictures today?

Okay, hurry and eat, I need to get dressed.

I throw on some pants, a sweater, and a scarf to make it look like I tried. A quick blow dry through my hair and I grab my make up bag to go.

I run downstairs and remind Big Brother and Little Sister to take more bites, they need to eat. I’m eyeing the clock and remind everyone, including myself, that we must leave in 5 minutes. Five minutes!

I scramble and pack a juice box, apples, sandwich, and chips into Little Sister’s Hello Kitty lunchbox. I grab Big Brother’s Lightening McQueen backpack and put them by the door.

Husband rushes by in a blur…he woke up late too. Bye Daddeeee! They shout in unison.

Two minute warning. No, I don’t know where that CD with the green cover is, I say with my voice raised and irritated a little too much for so early in the morning. Sorry. I smile and hurriedly usher Big Brother and Little Sister out the door.

Backpacks, check. Lunchbox, check. Picture permission slip, check. Make up stuffed into my bag, check. Stethoscope, check.

Coffee, definitely check.

Out the door, in the car, and buckled in. Deep breath, sip of coffee, and we’re off.

The CD Big Brother was looking for is playing in the car. I’m so happy about that. It makes up for my unnecessary irritation at his request this morning. We listen to song #7, at his direction. I’m smiling and tell Big Brother and Little Sister I hope they both have great days.

We’re at Big Brother’s school with a whole minute to spare. I grab his jacket and meet him on his side of the car in the pouring rain. I help him zip up, sling his backpack over his shoulder, and remind him today is my work day so he stays longer at school. He smiles and says he knows.

He starts to leave, but I hold on and give him a huge squeeze, kiss his forehead, and say have a wonderful day. I love you. He runs off smiling, in the pouring rain. His backpack flaps up and down with each step.

A little piece of my heart is carried away with him, tucked into his tiny little pocket. Have a great day, I think again as he disappears around the corner.

I turn back to our car, and the rush is on again. I sigh a little sigh. One down and one to go. Little Sister comments on the storm and we’re off.

Almost at Little Sister’s school and I glance in the rearveiw mirror. Little Sister looks so cute with her two hair braids. She’s singing a song I can’t quite make out. It’s definitely music to my ears.

At her school now, we make our way through the rain, my arms loaded with her lunchbox and backpack. I worry about how this drop off will go. She will either cling like my little koala bear and beg me not to go or skip off and start singing with the class.

Today is good. She gives me a tight hug, huge smile, and takes her spot on the rug. This time, it’s me who lingers. I wave and smile from the door. I want to scoop her up and give her one more hug but I know I should leave.

I mouth these words to her…I love you.

She is much braver than me today. Another piece of my heart stays there in that classroom where Little Sister is dancing. Deep breath and I leave.

And just like that, tiny pieces of my  heart…gone with the morning rush.

I make my way to work in silence, letting the coffee work its magic.

All morning at work, I see my kids in every one of my patients. From the 4 month old smiling back at me to the 10 year old boy cracking jokes, my children are with me.

I love working and I love staying home with my kids. Finding that balance is certainly a daily struggle but right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, or my kids have had…I’m always greeted with huge bear hugs and ear to ear smiles when I pick them up. I take it all in and can finally breathe a little easier because the missing pieces of my heart are back with me once again.

What are mornings like in your house?

16 Responses to Gone with the Morning Rush
  1. Sherri
    March 25, 2011 | 6:59 am

    Oh, the morning rush! Ours changes from year to year, and I still feel like I send little pieces of my heart away with my kids every day.

    But the coffee? A must.

  2. Ameena
    March 25, 2011 | 8:37 am

    I can so relate to this because as relieved as I am to see Maya off to her teacher for the day, I do see her little self running off into the kindergarten yard, taking a little piece of me with her.

    Beautifully written!

  3. Cheryl D.
    March 25, 2011 | 8:52 am

    It sounds like you have a great balance between your doctor life and your mom life! That's great!

    The morning rush is crazy, but it sounds like it's going really well, all things considered!

  4. Paula @ Simply Sandwich
    March 25, 2011 | 10:40 am

    Our mornings are much the same Melissa! Add in one separation anxiety filled Barky Dog and we could be twins! Have a great weekend! :)

  5. Betsy at Zen-Mama
    March 25, 2011 | 11:46 am

    I had to comment right away! Beautifully written. It used to be rush, rush, rush at our house. But we changed that a few years ago. We've started getting up early so that we can have long mornings over coffee and get the kids up slowly. As teenagers they are all out of the house by 7:30 and we have about 1/2 hour or so to finish enjoying the mornings.

  6. Erica
    March 25, 2011 | 1:43 pm

    I feel the same way about leaving a little piece of my heart with Anna when I drop her off. Mornings are settling into a nice flow at our house but right now we only have one – I know when we have two it will be different.

  7. Dalia - Gen X Mom
    March 25, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    Sounds like part 2 of my morning – getting my 5-year-old old. Part 1 takes place in about 15 minutes getting the older two out at the crack of dawn! I know exactly what you mean every time the bus drives away.

  8. Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds
    March 25, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    We're getting things down to a science in the morning now that we've been at it for several weeks. I love this account. You captured the details nicely!

  9. Reyna
    March 25, 2011 | 11:13 pm

    What a sweet post!

    You sure handled the "rush" well which probably has a lot to do with all the love and peace that resides in your family/home.

    Great job Dr. Mom!

  10. Stefanie
    March 26, 2011 | 1:59 pm

    I love that your post this morning can remind me of why I became a blogger… I sit here, drink my coffee, read and smile …and think about all the wonderful women who have come into my life, and who share a piece of their lives with me daily. And for that I am truly grateful! Thank you :)

  11. Laura@OutnumberedMom
    March 26, 2011 | 3:07 pm

    I remember these mornings! I share your feelings about working and being home. Something about working with kids is heart-warming, I think.

  12. alicia
    March 27, 2011 | 7:27 am

    Life. Isn't it crazy? Nothing worse than the morning rush. Well written.

  13. Liz
    March 27, 2011 | 10:25 am

    I get up the same time every day, but what time we leave varies on the day of the week. I feel like next year will be a lot more like this, though. We're still living the preschool life! :)

  14. C...
    March 27, 2011 | 12:10 pm

    Sounds like a morning rush I am familiar with and the joys of parenting mixed with the bittersweet of leaving them with people we barely know.

  15. JDaniel4's Mom
    March 28, 2011 | 5:39 am

    I love the word picture you painted of the pieces of your heart returning at the end of the day.

  16. Lady Jennie
    March 29, 2011 | 9:35 am

    All I can say is – great job mommy! You turned a potential disaster into a great start for the day. Sometimes I can swing it, but there are days when there are tears and tantrums getting out the door.