I am the Expeditor
I wake up everyone else in my house every single day. I am the household alarm. I am the quintessential morning person. My kids (at home) are now 16, 14, 11, & 59 My sweet husband is 55. I get up and have some time to myself, chug water, have my coffee, poop alone #goals
And then I start waking people. My oldest is a morning person, so she's sweet but sleepy. She quietly goes through her morning routine, being ready makes her content. I never have to remind her of anything. My youngest wakes fine and happy, but we let him sleep until the last possible moment. My older son ends up taking a second nap on the couch, and it's a struggle to get him out of bed. My other one, they sleep like it’s their chosen vocation. I have started asking the question, "do you want to not go to school today?" I offer alternative ideas of how they might spend the day. Cleaning their room is usually top of this list. I'm surprised by how they almost never say, "yeah, I want to stay home."
My reply when they, invariably, say "no, I want to go" is simple. "Then you have to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, make your lunch. Just like every day." I have alarms on my phone, five, actually, to keep them on task. If we’re being honest, the first two are just to be sure they are actually awake. At 6:45 I poke and prompt to find socks, eat breakfast, finish hair, fill water bottles, etc., etc., etc.....
I am the family expeditor, like the person in the back of the kitchen at a restaurant, trying to ask "how can I help?" instead of "what's taking so long?" but often failing. Great effort goes into trying to give everyone a good morning, no yelling, no tears, it's hard, we all have big personalities and passion for life. By this time of the school year, I consider at bedtime if they are all still alive, it's a win. I do not say that lightly.
My husband, sweet, but NOT a morning person, understands that the warm silence in which we sit, – sipping coffee most mornings – is my love language to him, because I want to tell him all the things. I’ve almost always been up and thinking for hours before he crawls out of bed. After years, he has grown to be my “hype man,” if one of the kids is in need, he tries to support by making sure the others are on track. We have a rhythm that looks effortless, but is the result of years of conversations, negotiations, and requests for help. We make a good team, because we have made ourselves a good team, we have grown to be a good team together. I try so hard to not yell, for him, because he grew up in a house where yelling started and blows followed. I just grew up loud. This one is harder, we're a big loud family. The thought of him makes me smile, makes me warm, so I try so hard not to raise my voice. He has taught me, by example, that we grow to meet the needs of those we love.
I fail almost daily on at least one of my main goals as a "good wife," and a "good mother," and a "good person." My kids, for some reason, think I'm awesome. They've seen me fail. I've apologized to them when I stomp on tender feelings, but I often stomp nonetheless. I am not supermom, I'm an exhausted mortal.
People compliment us on the kids all the time. I smile and say thank you, they make us look good. Sometimes I reply, "we haven't messed them up yet." I'm like that sometimes. More accurately would be "we haven't messed them up yet, and that takes daily effort." It does, and daily failure.
Life is a journey and a lesson. I fail miserably at trying to be the best self I can be, most days. Most of them. But I wake up every day and I try so hard for these people I love so much. I try to ask “how can I help” rather than yelling “what’s taking so long?” The difference between the two makes a world of difference in how our days proceed. I keep trying, every single day.
I am so far from perfect, but I’m trying. I'm going for "most improved."