I pretend not to notice, when they stretch out on the sofa, lounging around instead of sitting upright at the table eating their breakfast, like proper school boys. The alarm is set early every morning, for this very purpose. The older boys come straggling down later, and they are on a time crunch: they do sit down and eat their breakfast, rushing to get the milk back in the fridge, gulping down their cereal to ensure they’ll have enough time to eat, and get their teeth brushed. No need to push the little ones, I decide… their day will come.
Just a few feet away, the little boys, aren’t even quite sure what day it is, nor do they care. They’re still wrapped up in last night’s dream, or the big win at yesterday’s big kick ball game during recess, and ask if they can have any of last night’s dessert for breakfast. They are dressed and ready for school (didn’t they just put those clean clothes on as their PJs last night?), yet their toes are still bare. “Not ready for shoes, just yet, mom.” I try hard not to watch them too closely… for fear my heart might skip a beat, and I’d never get anyone to school.
TV is not what they reach for during this twilight time. Out of respect for them, I keep the kitchen quiet… no radio, no TV… just the sounds of two sets of morning engines running through the kitchen, while they other boys dot the silence with, “Mom, can you sign this?” “Where’s my lunch?”
I try to prompt them back into this time zone by the simple request, “Have you brushed their teeth,” but they ignore me. Only when they’re good and ready will they stand up and put their own internal “Puff, the Dragon,” aside (whatever that may be for them) and make that transition toward school boy. I can tell when they’re ready when they start telling each other what’s on the elementary school lunch menu. Lunch is the call that stirs them awake.
If I had any sanity, I would let us all have an extra 40-minutes of extra sleep in the morning. But, then, I would have missed everything. I have yet to learn how to to stopping missing them so much.