I wake up at 5:30 a.m. now. I used to get up at "around" 8:30 or 9:00...whenever Harrison woke up really. But, he needs to be on the bus by 7:15, so now I wake up at 5:30. I tried telling him I could take him to school. The ride wouldn't be as long...he could sleep in a whole extra hour, if not an hour and a half... he doesn't want to because he really wanted to ride a school bus. He has friends on there already that are a year or two older, or in a different kindergarten class, so this is his only time to see them. He's starting early on that "old guy sitting around the coffee shop at the crack of dawn shooting the sh*t" thing.
So I wake up at 5:30. Originally it was to get him up... let him watch "BAKUGAN" and that's the only time of the day it's on. (Don't ask...) But he now favors "Ben 10" which is after Bakugan. But now I'm used to getting up at 5:30. So I get up and make coffee...and it's dark outside. The cat is up, the dog wants outside. All mundane tasks that millions of people go through every day but for me is brand new, because it's been probably since I was 17 that I have gotten up this early. Why is it so easy to settle into a new habit, but so hard to break the old one in the first place?
He gets up and watches Ben 10. And then he eats. And then he gets dressed. Somewhere in here he starts arguing with me, and the sun starts to come up. This morning it is more of a stage with the lights rising, as it's raining a fine mist and no sun is to be seen. The light just appears. Slow fade in to green trees just ready to turn to Fall. Layers of Payne's grey in strips on the horizon. He doesn't want to change his pants once I discover a huge stain right on the crotch that I missed before. Looks like soup that spilled or something. He keeps trying to run to the computer and get on it, which there is no time for. He refuses to put his own socks on today, even though he just did it yesterday. "Did you brush your teeth?" "Yes." ...I'm dubious. I go to put on some pants so I'm not wearing pj's out by the bus, though I don't know why I really care, and when I come back in he's stuffing a homemade peanut butter cookie in his mouth from the batch I made last night. "Did I say you could eat a cookie?" "I'm not eating a cookie.". "Don't lie." "I'm not lying."
And so it goes...
It's all a sudden rush to get out the door. The realization that it actually is raining. The thought that I really do need to buy an umbrella for him, and why haven't I ever in the past? I see he's gotten chocolate all over his pants that I made him change into. I remember his glasses...and dash in to get them. We walk across the expanse of yard to the road to meet the bus, arguing all the way about tiny, silly things, and wait.
The rain is fine and slow. I put the hood of the jacket he doesn't want to wear over his head to keep him dry. He wants to know where the sky goes when it gets done raining. I try to point out the grey clouds moving to the right. He suddenly steps into me and lays his head on my stomach as we are standing there, and snuggles. We aren't cold. Just close. I remind him gently that it would be nice if he told his teacher today that he was sorry for misbehaving right when he got out of school yesterday. I had gone to pick him up for the first time, and the change I guess rattled him and he acted out. But I told him that it was up to him. Sometimes we need to say we're sorry only when we mean it, and on our own terms. And that he is growing up now, every day, and it's a new world for him. He looks up at me and says "I want you to be my teacher." and then snuggles his head into me again. "(aww) I will always be your teacher...and if I'm not with you then I am your teacher right here in your heart." "And if you ever need a question answered, I will help you." Everything is soft for a moment. The rain is sweet, and the Earth is silent. The green of the fresh mown grass is striking against the barbed wire fence and the field that is allowed to grow wild right next to it. For a second I think about asking him if he wants to be homeschooled again, and then I think better of it. We just enjoy the moment huddled against each other. "I love you."...and in the tiniest voice of barely a whisper "I love you, too."....
The silence is broken by the faint motor of the bus and then it's shiny roof appears at the hill just ready to break it and roll down the road towards us. He hugs me a moment longer and then when the bus is more visible he breaks aways and goes to stand closer to the road. He gleefully jumps on and says hello to the driver. Usually he scurries into his front seat, but today he turns around and standing starts waving at me. Then he sits down and continues waving at me furiously through the window. The doors shut, the driver pulls forward. The bus lumbers on down the road towards the East...crests another hill...and is gone.
The dog runs up to me and nudges me, ready to go back inside.
And so it goes.