She was ready for school an hour early.
Her hair was brushed, pulled back in a short ponytail.
She sat on the edge of the bed and I could feel her staring at me.
I pulled the blanket down from over my head and peaked at her.
"We have to go," she tells me.
I put the blanket back over my head.
My alarm goes off.
She reaches over and shuts it off.
"See? It's time to get up."
I groan and roll away from her, still hiding my head and face.
"Even your alarm says so," she explains to her not-a-morning-person mom.
"We don't have to leave for another 45 minutes," I tell her back in a whisper.
"Oh." She is quiet. "I'll go get some breakfast."
My big fifth-grader slips out of my room and two cats come running in and jump on me.
I curl up in a ball to avoid their long claws.
She comes back in with a glass.
"I'm having a glass of milk for breakfast," she says. I nod at her. I've ventured out from under the blanket, cursing the morning in my head. I learned a long time ago not to ruin a child's morning with my grumblings. Especially when I'm only going to see her for less than an hour before work and school separate us.
She is my youngest.
This first morning of school is a long way from where I began.
I've been sending kids off to school since 1987.
It's been years and years of talent shows, field trips and Bear Jamborees; several honors, a couple suspensions and one expulsion; it has been leaving work to pick up my child with a fever and then hiding a smile when my daughter came home and told me, "Mommy, I was really sick and they just sent me back to my classroom."
I heard stories of shenanigans by one of my sons long after he graduated highs school. Seems he glued a quarter to the floor and sat at his desk and watched people try to pick it up; he flipped the switch on the power strip in computer class and caused a computer to shut off, until the teacher walked over to check it out, then he flipped it back on. He orchestrated an entire class to switch seats when the teacher's back was turned and act like nothing was wrong when she turned back around.
I didn't know about any of this until long after it happened. I can laugh now, but I'm not suggesting anyone try it.
I guess my point is I don't have a point.
I survived all of my children in school all at the same time.
You can too.