Mags: "In my shoe bucket."
Me: "Why aren't they on your feet?"
Mags: "You told me to FIND them, not PUT them on."
I awake to my kids' voices. 6:15 AM. I fall back to sleep for a few more minutes before the excitement of the day begins. 6:45 AM. I help them to make their breakfast, brew my coffee, and prepare lunches. 7:02 AM. I grimace as the sink full of dishes glaring at me with every pass I make. 7:15 AM. I jump in and out of the shower so fast that I barely need a towel to dry off. I used soap...I think. 7:31 AM. My mind is riddled with the mundane tasks that need to be accomplished as I get dressed. 7:34 AM. It's a daily schedule that is so ingrained in my being that I can do it half-awake. I'm captive to the day's trance as I holler out a teeth and shoe check. 7:39 AM.
Suddenly, I'm snapped out of my state of numb as I realize I have 5 minutes until I'll be pushing the time limits. 7:43 AM. My hair is forced begrudgingly back into a ponytail (again) as I look down to make sure I have all the necessary clothing on my body. 7:45 AM. My blood is pumping and I kick into hyper drive. 7:46 AM. I race down the stairs to meet the kids in the car who are fighting over which one of them will open the car door first. 7:47 AM. I hand out stern looks and open the door myself. I bark my orders. WE HAVE NO TIME. NO TIME! STRAP IN! 7:48 AM. As I back out of the garage, I look down to find Mags has no shoes on her feet. 7:49 AM. A quick, blood-pumping sprint back inside to find ANY pair of shoes. Rain boots it is! 7:51 AM. In seat, buckle in, throw rain boots to back seat and off we go. 7:52 AM. We're cutting it close! Drive, sing, talk, tease, reprimand and park. Our first stop. 8:02 AM. We race Mags inside, kiss her good-bye and dive out the door of the preschool. 8:03 AM.
Back in the car and we're off to catch Tuck's bus. We'll make it! 8:04 AM. Get stuck behind a bus (not ours) that stops every twenty feet. Tick, tick, tick. We're both sweating, biting our nails and staring at the clock. 8:06 AM. We drive the topsy, turvy mountain roads until we get to ours! 8:12 AM. We pass the little church on the left where OUR bus sits before picking up the kids. It's GONE! He's already on route. The chase is on. 8:15 AM. We turn into our development and I catch sight of the bus making the first turn of five. We're in pursuit. 8:17 AM. I notify Tuck to get ready with his back pack. 8:18 AM. We make the last turn where the bus stop full of kids impatiently waits. We're trailing right behind now. 8:19 AM. The bus stops, lights flashing and doors open. 8:20 AM. I throw the car in park, open my door and meet Tuck on the other side of the car to kiss him good-bye as he runs the length of the bus to meet the line of kids. 8:21 AM. He's the last one on, but takes a moment to blow me a kiss. The bus pulls away. BIG, DEEP BREATH! 8:22 AM.
But the finish line is near. Only a few more days now. I can't give up. This is when I have to kick it in. Give it all I've got. I've worked so hard to get to this point. Soon, yes, very soon, I'll be able to add ... PROFESSIONAL BUS CHASER to my resume. It has a nice ring to it, no?
C'mon Summer Vacation. I'm ready and waiting!