It’s remarkable how profoundly intense the first 90 minutes of the morning can be for a mother like me.
Gotta get up, gotta make coffee, gotta make breakfast. Gotta pack lunch, check homework, gotta get her dressed, hair combed. You’ve gotta brush your teeth! You’ve gotta change those shoes!
Gotta feed the dog, gotta unload the dishwasher, make the beds. Gotta feed your fish!
Gotta jump in and out of the shower, gotta get myself dressed, gotta do something with this hair, gotta grab a hat!
We gotta go!
Gotta hurry, no time to walk, we gotta drive!
With minutes ticking toward the 7:40 a.m. school bell, the pace pounds.
Gotta find a place to park, gotta get out and walk her into the playground, gotta see her off and in line with her teacher, gotta be a good mom, gotta do it right, gotta do it all, gotta run because I’ve made us late, late again!
Then from the backseat, with the sagacious calm and steady poise of her eight years, with her serenely impeccable timing, she offers the morning’s benediction, the first sane words that have passed between my ears since I flew into action at dawn.
Mom, you can drop me off.
She turned a rosy cheek to me then, like a gift, a floral tribute. I kissed it, and that was that.