My alarm went off promptly at 6:43 this morning. I woke up to the three-year-old on my left and the five-year-old on my right, sleeping soundly in my bed. I couldn't tell you what time they must have snuck in, they are stealthy in that sense. The former on his belly with his butt in the air and the latter on his back with dry drool caked on the side of his mouth. I picture this scene advanced another thirteen years and suspect it will look the same - hopefully they won't be in my bed.
I expected the protests and the whining, after all they just spent a week in Aruba. Getting up whenever they felt like it, eating from buffets here and there with endless access to a soft ice cream machine - it was all over now. Back to reality: school, my cooking and me. But as soon as we approached the school they were both giddy to see their friends piling in. They dropped my hand like it was a piece of shit and went running towards the school playground.
When I caught up I saw all the parents and children congregated in the waiting cell below the playground - it's jam packed. The weather this morning was so warm it felt like Aruba, I couldn't imagine why anybody resigned to staying in, what looks to me, like a prison yard. But then again, a lot of public schools in New York can look like a prison. I think they hired the same architects or something. Or maybe it had something to do with crime and vandalism, you think?
"Why are there so many people waiting?" One mother commented.
"After a week and a half of having their kids at home, maybe the parents couldn't wait to shove them off," I replied. Lord knew that was me.
But there's only one problem - I got the three-year-old for an hour before his school starts. During the winter months, I opted for an early drop off. It was great, one after the other; boom-boom. I was a free woman after 8:15. But since it costs extra, I only signed up through March and today was the first day I had to entertain Samu for fifty-five minutes before I got to shove him off. I took him to the park across the street.
He knew the routine. We did it last September through December - we play and exercise for forty-minutes then eat Cheese Doodles and go to school with orange fingers. I don't know, maybe he missed his Grammy and Auntie or maybe the parks tar and concrete don't compare to white sandy beaches (I know, duh). He got bored of me fast. No matter what I came up with wasn't good enough, not even the Cheese Doodles.
It was a quarter to nine when he said something he's never said in his life. "Can I go to school, now?"
Let me tell you, I felt the love, bro - I felt the love.