Because I became a mother later in life, parenting was a long adjustment. I was used to a clean house and spontaneous plans like weekends away or dinners out with friends. My Sunday routine was taking hours to read the paper with more than one cup of coffee.
Being the mother of a third grade boy means that my house is not clean. There are no leisurely dinners in trendy restaurants. I might have coffee, but it is seldom drank without one or two returns to the microwave.
I am the first one to say that I am not a morning person. It takes me time to open both eyes and actually get my body out of bed. It's a process. This has been one of the biggest adjustments for me as a parent. No longer is there a process, it is immediate. My son springs out of bed full of energy; the questions and conversations begin right where they left off the previous night.
What do you think that I should create today?
What if a zombie found a way into our house?
Which is your favorite video game and why?
How many days left until Christmas now?
Usually, I am okay with this zero to ten morning wake up but some mornings, I wish for quiet. I think about "those days" of clean and quiet. I felt this way today, but only until I reminded myself of the parents that would give anything for my "problem."
There have been many people writing and remembering about the tragedy of a year ago. The unimaginable actions that happened at that school. There are others like that one. The tragedy that happened just days ago at yet another school.
When I reminded myself of my many blessings, I hugged my child that much harder. He didn't understand the extra tight squeeze and I didn't explain.
It has to stop. We must continue to ask the questions and look for solutions so that other families don't have to experience the unthinkable.
Like many of you, I have an impressive list of holiday errands left to accomplish. That forgotten cookie ingredient or the last stocking gift that must be purchased today. Before I allow myself to become "Grinch like" in the crowds and the chaotic parking lots, I will remember.
My problems have solutions. I'm lucky. I will keep this thankful perspective!