My morning ritual continues. I'm usually awake before 0500 hrs but I close my eyes after peeking at the clock embedded in the cable box. I roll over, reposition and try to go back to sleep if it's before 0500.
I never get back to a deep sleep but more of a "waiting sleep." That's the sleep you do when you know you will have to get up soon to get to work on time. It's never long enough if you're going to work and it's too long if you are waiting out the night so you can get out of bed.
0500 arrives and I reach for my cell phone resting on the night stand, swing my feet to the floor and quietly tiptoe to the door and into the hallway. I'm on my way to water the bare spots in the yard. It's dark and quiet out there and I stand with the water hose spraying the patches of bare ground where the grass seed is struggling to survive in this August heat. Twice a day I do this task. The second time is when the sun is low in the western sky.
In between my trips into the great outdoors, I concentrate on not going outside. It appears as though my neighborhood is following my practice of avoidance.
Today was Carrie's second day of kindergarten. I was at her house at 0700 and watched as she got dressed and ready to go. Hefting up her hot pink backpack, we headed for the car. The block and a half trip to the bus stop came quickly. For a while we sat in the car while the other children gathered and lined up quietly to wait on the bus. A few minutes passed before it occurred to me that Carrie might want to join the line and be "one" with the other children. I asked her if she wanted to wait in line and the answer was a big smile and an even bigger "yes!". I forget that all this is new to her and standing in line is part of the experience of this new part of her life.
I waited until the bus pulled up and she boarded. Throughout the day, I would glance at the clock or my wristwatch and think about what she would be doing. 1230 rolled around and I knew she was in the lunch room. 1445 and her school day was ending and she would be heading for her bus.
I drifted off to sleep. The next time I looked at the clock it was 1530. Carrie's bus gets to her stop at 1515. I picked up the phone and called April.
"Hey, you met Carrie at her bus stop?" I asked, my heart beating a little faster then usual while waiting for the answer.
"Well, no mom. You didn't go?" replied April.
My heart went into overdrive and I started screaming.
I was almost to the door when April started laughing.
"NOT funny! That wasn't a bit funny!" this said while still in a full screaming mode from me.
April quickly whispered "Calm down and call me later." and the click told me she had disconnected and left me to slow my heart rate.
Another 1/2 hour later and Carrie was delivered here by her brother. We played question and answer about her school day. She is still waiting to read. I have to tell her again that it will take a while but it will happen. She chats about her best friend that rides the bus with her. No complaints about anybody being mean to her and I relax a little.
Her new schedule of getting up early and going to bed early is leaving it's mark on her. She begins to get a little cranky now and tearful. This is not the usual Carrie. When the tears come, I explain to her about being tired and getting up early and going to bed early. She nods, we wipe the tears and she goes home for her early bath and bed.
Tomorrow I won't be seeing her to the bus stop. She will walk along with her mother. Along the way, other children will join her. It's all part of the real school experience. It's all new stuff to her and I have to remember that she needs to be a part of it all.
Letting go is just not easy.