Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Empty

Normally at 6:15 a.m. I have been up for an hour; I am showered and dressed and messing with my face and my hair, attempting to create some imagined, organized version of myself to present to the world at large and my colleagues and friends at work.  By 6:45 I've either approached some semblance of my imagination, or thrown in the the towel with a loud, "Screw it!" to the mirror and those disobedient strands of baby-fine nonsense lying criss-cross over my forehead and getting caught in the hinges of my glasses. 
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.

7 comments:

Unknown said...

I know you can't wait to be warming socks in the dryer, using your "inside voice" (didn't know you had one) to wake up Julian, and then tripping over legos, making the bed, finding clean clothes, and fixing breakfast. We all need the normalcy of those days again, and they will come.

jo(e) said...

Yep. My grown kids always call my house HQ because it's headquarters. But for the last month, it's been so quiet.

robin andrea said...

Oh the disruption of that morning routine...it really defines how we start the days so differently these days. No new normal yet, just that longing for the old way.

Susan said...

What a gift !! Xo

Unknown said...

I know your heart is missing all those beautiful faces and your morning routine with the leader of the pack of little people who are so lucky you are their Gaga. Let's hope we can those socks back in the dryer soon.

Liz Miller said...

I’m all choked up. Sending millions of hugs.

Anonymous said...

Ah, what a beautiful portrait of love and care. May you soon be able to give him warm socks and big hugs. xo to all of you from all of the Scribbler-Blues. -PS