I had never felt so relaxed.
It was Saturday; I had no appointments or responsibilities. It was beautiful outside. I sipped my coffee contentedly and watched ducks cross my backyard.
There was a strange sound, though. Distant, but monotonous. I turned my head to determine where it was coming from. Some kind of intermittent vibrating sound …
“Mom! It's 7:30!”
The shout reached all the way into my subconscious and pulled me out of my backyard — and into the real world.
It was not Saturday.
I was not free of responsibility.
My alarm had been on vibrate.
And I was really, really late.
I bolted upright in bed. I was bleary eyed, panicked and unsure what to do first. I could hear the frenetic bustling of my oldest child as he navigated the same exhausted confusion I was in. Then, as if someone had snapped me back like a rubber band, I sprang into action.
I surveyed my environment. Three kids, two still sleeping. I darted from one room to the next, back and forth, until I saw motion from each child. Spinning in circles, I considered my next move.
In less than two minutes, three bowls of cereal and three glasses of juice appeared on the table.
“Breakfast!” I bellowed as I darted to the bathroom.
A hair wash was way too much to ask on this morning. Deciding bobby pins and hairspray would be my look for the day, I mentally chose what ensemble needed the least amount of ironing as I lathered up.
Shower over. Grabbing a robe, I peeked my head around the corner to look warily at the clock.
“I can do this!” I affirmed to myself as my son walked by. He shook his head at my antics and kept on moving.
Running back to the kitchen, I surveyed my two youngest. Two small masses of hair and pajamas sat sleepily slurping cereal. No sign of school attire was anywhere.
“OK,” I muttered more to myself than anyone. “Finish breakfast, get your clothes on, brush your teeth and come see me for hair. Five minutes!”
Sprinting back to my bedroom, I unearthed clothing that would belie my morning. Pulling it on as I brushed my teeth, I peered out the doorway.
Clothing adornment was in process.
I uttered my mantra.
“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.”
My youngest son appeared, sporting a backwards shirt and an inadvertent Mohawk. Thirty seconds later, gelled and reversed, he switched places with his sister.
“Ow! Ow! Ow!” she cried as I battled time versus tangles.
I bit my lip.
“Pony tail day!” I announced to a squeal of happiness.
And in my bathroom that morning, the '80s returned: side ponytails became in vogue again.
We all migrated to the kitchen and fumbled around each other as we packed lunches, loaded backpacks and found shoes.
“Everyone in the car!” I exclaimed, and we exited unceremoniously, breathlessly piling into the car.
Pulling into the school parking lot at exactly 8:21, my children and I all threw ourselves out of the doors and ran through the parking lot.
We had made it.
After each child was safely delivered to the appropriate classroom, I walked slowly back to my car, taking deep breaths. I climbed in, leaned my head back and enjoyed the silence.
We did it.
And now, it was time for coffee. A lot of coffee.