One day at a time

Today started like nearly every other day.  The alarm goes off at 5:30 and I am in complete denial.  It goes off again at 5:37 and I am annoyed. It goes off again at 5:44 and I finally admit to myself that I need to wake up. By the time I get out of the shower at ten after 6, I feel like I am running late.  I dress quickly and go to wake the kids. Then I race to the kitchen to let the dog out.  I start making breakfast, which in my house, is slowly moving toward something healthy like oatmeal or fruit and yogurt or homemade granola, but still admittedly sometimes contains Organic Pop Tarts, Organic cereal, raisin bread or English Muffins.  I can give you my list of pros and cons on each item, but now is not the time for that.  And truly, it used to be conventional, sugar coated cereal, a gooey muffin or a conventional poptart in the car.  I’m happy to have progress. Besides, we’re racing to make lunch.

It’s Waste Free Wednesday, but honestly, I try to make every day waste free day.  Once you have the accessories (reusable food baggies and containers) it’s so easy to be waste free that it seems silly to do it only one day a week.  I do understand that buying the accessories is a HUGE hurdle, an approximately $100 hurdle, but can assure you that these products are quality and really will save you gobs of money in the long run.  I’ve had my laptop lunchboxes since my daughter was very young.  I can’t remember if I got them when she was 1 or 2, but I’ve had them forever and they look just like they did the day I bought them.  Again, I digress.

I let the dog in. I go back to rouse the kids again.  One is standing in front of her closet in a daze, half asleep, wondering what to wear. The other has buried himself deeper in his blanket to block out the light.  I shake him a bit and look for the air hole in the blankets so I can peek in.  “Wake up sleepy head, ” I say.

I hustle back to the kitchen and put the food on the table.  “It’s getting coooold!” I shout. The dog starts banging things to get my attention so I feed him.

The kids come to the kitchen.  My daughter is dressed for summer although it is in the 50s. I send her back to put on long pants and socks.  My son is in PJs carrying his blanket and his stuffed bear.  He throws himself over the stuffed arm on the couch and lays there.  I nudge him to his room and help him get some clothes on then send him to the kitchen to eat.  I check on my daughter and find her sitting on the floor playing with her teaset dressed like Cindi Lauper.  She’s simply added multiple layers of summer clothes to her outfit.  I help her peel off the layers and put on something appropriate. We go to the kitchen.

After I finish packing lunch, I race back to my bathroom to blow dry my hair and slap on some make up so I don’t scare my coworkers.  it is 7:05 and we are late.

We pile into the car. Get your backpacks and lunch boxes!” I remind them every single day and every single day they climb into the car without them.  But I am happy they are getting into the car and there is a chance we will make it on time.  All it takes at this point is someone remembering they have to go to the bathroom or that they need a show and tell toy or the dog squeezing between their legs and running outside for the whole day to fall apart into a domino of lateness, panic and stress.

But we make it and I am grateful.  And as I’m driving them to school, sitting behind other cars filled with kids, I think to myself; “It’s no wonder this switch to healthy, non-gmo eating and living is just unthinkable for so many.  We are all in such a rush.  We want peace. We don’t want to fight with our kids.  We don’t want to fight with our spouses (if we have one), we don’t want to fight with ourselves (which we do all day long anyway, like it or not) and we don’t want to fight with our food.  We want to get hungry, get food, get filled and get on with it.  But the food landscape has changed and now we need to read labels, reconsider our choices and rearrange our lives to squeeze in more time for cooking and preparing and storing and shopping.

Then the light changes and we we’re off again. Within minutes, the kids are hopping out of the car and hustling through the gate and up to the school.  I turn on the radio and start running my daily list through my head.  I look at the clock to try to determine how to squeeze it all in.  How many minutes will it take to get to work. How many minutes to park and turn on my computer?  Will I be late to my 8 AM call?  Should I call in from the car and potentially lose the call in the elevator or just call in a few minutes late from my desk?  Then the gas light goes on in my car and I’ve got something new to fit in.  And it goes like this all day until now after 10, when I’m exhausted and ready for bed and I can’t even remember the rest of the day, but it is done. And it will start again in 7 hours. Good night!

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