Tuesday, April 7, 2020
The next order of business is to wake up my eight year old grandson who lives with us weeknights during the school year. I am careful not to startle him; I have always hated abrupt awakenings myself. I am not quiet by nature, but I make every attempt each morning to use my "inside voice" as I urge him into consciousness with the same greeting: "Good morning, little man" and I rub his legs and feet. He is spoiled, in some ways. I warm up a pair of socks in the dryer before rousing him, and slide them on his feet so they don't hit the cold bathroom tile unprotected. When he's ready to wash his hands, I make sure the water is not cold. His preferred temperature, if you ask him, is "warmish-coolish." He stands in front of the sink, eyes still closed, and hangs his hands there until I tell him the temp is just right, at which point he washes them and uses his own Memphis Grizzlies hand towel, dubbed The Growl Towel, to dry them. He dresses and makes his breakfast choice, which is almost always a scrambled egg with cheese; sometimes he cooks it and sometimes I do. We go about the business of packing up everything that goes in the car: the backpack, the chess set on Tuesdays and basketball clothes on Wednesdays and Fridays, and my bag, my water bottle, and my coffee. As we prepare to leave, we check everything-is the hall light off, is the stove off, is Susie's coffee cup out and next to the pot, and are his shoes tied? He holds the security door open as I close the front door and lock it, and we're off. Normally.
Right now, the school clothes are folded neatly in the drawers, it doesn't stink of gym shoes and squished snacks, long forgotten in the bottom of the backpack. There are no plastic super heroes in my tub, no Legos underfoot, and no piles of paper to be signed and returned tomorrow.
And the bed. It's clean, smooth, neat, and empty. And 6:15 has lost its luster.