It’s eleven-thirty pm and I head to bed. I wake up at one, two, three, four-thirty and five. At five, I decide that I am not going to the office this morning. I’ll take the kids to school, then come back and work at home. That decision feels good. I fall back asleep. At six-thirty I get up, wake up my littlest and then go out and make sausage and coffee and turn on Good Morning America. It sure is snowing on the east coast. I wish Sam Champion would put his hood up instead of letting the snow accumulate on top of his head. They say it might snow here tonight.
It’s a good morning. No yelling about clothes or curling irons or the bathroom and the older two are actually in the car before the little one. The little one runs out to where we’re waiting in our pre-heated car in the near-freezing temps in her bare feet, carrying shoes, socks, coat, scarf and backpack. She gets in breathless and rosy-cheeked, eyes still a little puffy from sleep. We pull out and the old one asks if she can pick the music this morning. I say yes and watch her in my rear-view mirror as I drive. She looks beautiful this morning with her straightened, chestnut hair and eyes as blue as the Texas sky. The sun that is beginning to rise reflects the hope in her eyes as we pull onto the concrete jungle, crawling with metal animals, bathed in morning light. I am amazed at how she shows no signs of tiredness even though I know she was up working on homework way after I went to bed. It is morning and the sense of new mercies is there on her fresh, fifteen-year-old face. I’ll take it. It’s a beautiful counter-balance to the mornings filled with desperate hopelessness and tears.
She picks Kelly Clarkson, The Police, Travis, Over the Rhine and Coldplay. I can hear the middle one sing every word to every song, quietly. I can’t see her there on the other side of the back seat but I can picture her eyes that are as deep as her soul as she looks out her window, unaware that she’s even singing. The music lives in her. She hears something once and she knows it. Across the genres. She can’t help it.
My heart is full as I remember their audition for the Spring Talent Show yesterday. Three sisters, singing in three-part harmony about how they’ll come back for each other whenever they’re called. They made the judges a little emotional. They made me a little emotional.
I drop them off and head back home. The sun is now fully up and I put on my sunglasses. I listen to the theme song from Cast Away and pretend I’m walking on a deserted winter beach instead of slithering through a sea of school zones and semi-trucks. I think about what I want my discipline for Lent to be this year. I wonder if it will really snow tonight.
I pull off the freeway and sing along loudly to Carrie Underwood. I’m almost home. I pull in the garage, walk in the kitchen, load the dishwasher and start it. Then I grab my computer off the kitchen table and go back to my darkened bedroom where the fan is still going, drowning out any sounds of life. I get under the covers, propped up by pillows and begin to write. Who am I kidding? I’m not going to be doing any work today.
I hope it snows tonight.