Crazy Mornings

So, our mornings begin about 7 am. I need to get up, get Jason out of bed, make sure he dresses, make his breakfast, wake Sarah & dress & feed her, then make sure my teenager is up. I leave to take Jason to school at 7:45, then get back home to make sure Ashley is ready to go so she can get to the bus stop in time.

Naturally, the cats & fish also need to be fed, and I have to clean up the kitchen from the morning rush. This morning, Ashley announced to me that the children clogged the toilet again, and she was NOT going to clean it up. Seeing as how a 4 year old cannot unclog a toilet, I told her that if she doesn’t, it falls to me, and if I do it, then she isn’t going out with her friends this weekend. I received the typical stare, rolled eyes, then the storming off into her room.
At this point, I am sitting in the kitchen typing this post. I am listening to my daughter getting dressed while dramatically chatting on her cell phone and Sarah is playing quietly in her room, though she does pop out every couple of moments to say hi or give me a hug or show me a picture she drew. It is amazing to me that all of those years that I worked, my mornings never seemed so out of control. What I am beginning to realize is that they were always out of control, but I tended to just tune out as I was preparing for work.

This is a funny analogy, but it is kind of like hearing about a war in another country. You know it’s going on, you occasionally hear about casualties and hardships, but it doesn’t really touch your life. Then one day, you watch a documentary on the war, and suddenly, it comes into focus. You realize that lives are being destroyed and people are dying. You feel powerless in the face of such pain and loss. Maybe I went too far with comparing my family to a war, but the point is, I am paying attention now. I see how desperately my daughter needs my influence, and how Sarah needs my love, and how Jason needs my approval.

I started this post today to talk about the amusing things that go on in our house as we’re rushing to get the day started, but I realize that it isn’t always amusing. Our world is set up nowadays so we cannot give our children the full attention they need. I was fortunate enough to be able to take this time to spend with them (after 17 years). What about the millions of parents that do not have that time because they are working and trying to make ends meet. When did our society become one that we feed and shelter our kids, but have nothing else to offer because we are so damned tired?

In the endless political theater about tax breaks and regulations, perhaps we could come up with a new vision for the American family. How about each family, regardless of whether it is one or two parents, is able to support themselves with just one paycheck, and can have liberal personal time to spend with their children. Perhaps we could not have to worry about keeping a miserable job because it offers minimal healthcare because we have to bring our kids to the doctors for well checks and vaccinations. Perhaps we don’t have to have such a fragmented society in which we live so far away from our parents to find good jobs that they cannot help raise their grandchildren. Maybe, our grandparents won’t have to work and can help raise the grandchildren because they were able to retire with a pension. Call me crazy, but maybe we should realize that our lives are actually at home with our families, and not out there with our work families.

OK, back to reality…Ashley is putting the finishing touches on her face, and Sarah is swinging on her swing-set out back. As for me, I just finished unclogging a toilet, and now I have dishes to clean. Oh, how I miss working…it was so much easier than staying at home! :-)

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