We settle you on small yellow chairs, happy that you are finally beyond the morning tantrum.
Maybe you didn’t want to miss any of Jake and his Neverland Pirates so you refused to get dressed or maybe you thought you made it clear that you wanted waffles and not pancakes so your cry was distressed when you opened your bowl to find the latter.
Maybe your 5 point harness was too tight, your milk was too cold or your fruit snacks are not the kind you wanted even if you did pick them yourselves less than 5 minutes ago.
Some mornings I am sure we have lived a full day in the hour between 5:30 and 6:30 am.
Some mornings I doubt my ability to be any kind of mother, let alone a good one.
Your demands of me are endless, your frustration with me is evident and my patience runs on low long before I can fill up enough to make it right for you.
Those days we march or shuffle or stomp into school, each of us so sure we’re right while tears course down our cheeks.
You stand your ground and I cling to mine as I take the coward’s way out and escape to your classroom and cubbies.
I readjust your nap bags, I hang your coats.
I breathe out.
I breathe in.
I walk down the hallway and I can feel the change in the air.
I can hear the shift in your voices.
They are animated and happy, calm and deep in preschool conversations.
My heart is still hammering as I squat next to your chairs.
“Mommy & Daddy have to go to work. Do you have a kiss for mommy?”
One of you picks up a piece of sausage, “Sausage kiss mommy?”
“YES! My favorite, sausage kisses!”
And your tiny mouth smacks mine.
Your brother pipes up, “How about a pancake kiss mommy?”
“Oh Yummy, those are so good too!”
And another kiss is planted on me.
I kiss your temples and the top of your heads, whispering “I love you’s” and “I’ll see you laters”, “be good boys today!”
I stand up and move to the door when I see you out of the corner of my eye, happly moving to the window.
I pushed through the door and hurry around the corner, to see you standing with the light of the classroom behind you, your eyes squinting to make sure you can see me.
And suddenly it’s as if the morning never happened.
You smile, you twist your little fingers, bending and shaping them until they have made “I love you” in sign language, your faces so pleased and proud of yourself.
Then we blow kisses to one another, our hands kissing our fingertips at breakneck speed and sending them along the air to each other.
I can hear your giggles through the glass.
Daddy is waiting and it’s time to go so I send one more kiss and raise my hand, waving at you.
Your mouth breaks into a joyful grin and you raise your own hand, we wave and wave and wave.
I wonder “who will give up first?”
Then you do.
You move away first.
You raise your arms one last time and smile back at me, hands in the air, smiles spread across your faces and run back to your yellow chairs.
Through the window, I see it all.