I am a parent to three big kids. At six my alarm goes off, and Naomi’s next door. I can hear her stir and turn it off as I get up, shower and make the bed. I peak in and she is beautiful, radiant in waking, eager to ask me what she should wear to school today. She never EVER wears what I suggest but she tells me it helps her narrow down her options.
I tear myself away from this glowing fourteen year old, who often doesn’t act a day over five in the BEST way. Time to greet my boy. Quinn set multiple alarms because he is my night owl and loves to sleep in. But today is already up and playing on his iPad. His face beams up at me as I poke my head in to kiss his uber soft cheeks. He tells me about his adventures with the cats in the night and I remind him to take his medicine.
By now it is almost 6:30 and I hear Ava’s alarm for the first time. She was so excited to be big enough to use an alarm. I can just picture her face, full-on grumpy as she sits up, eyes just slits, to turn off the sound. I can see her wild hair poking out in all directions. I open the door and she moans from the bed and then half-sits up to give me a cheesy smile. Thats my Ava-girl, my Chinese baby.
We eat breakfast together at the counter, them on their stools. Eggs and Chinese pork buns and fruit. We pack the lunches, noodles and broth and veggies with chopsticks and a spoon for the two youngers. Chips and more fruit for the teen. We brush our teeth, and grab our backpacks for the very first day of the 2014 school year. We pause outside, shoes half on, for the obligatory first day picture.
We are five in the car with David’s bike on the back and I make my rounds. Naomi first, at the bus stop by 7:38, then Ava to the school playground where David takes off his bike an cycles to the nearby college where he teaches. Now it is just me and Quinn and we hurry down a few more hills to his school. The place that brought us all here. Where all this started.
And I’m off. To write. And do a thousand other things, big and small, that this year calls me too.
Surprised, but joyful, at the life I now lead.