Mornings at my house are sometimes a bit hectic. When you have three big kids and one baby running around, it tends to make life a little hurried. Just ask my wife. Oh, and then there’s the toddler too.
Sunday mornings are even funnier. There have been plenty of Sabbath mornings in which we have not prepared the night before.
Numerous times, outfits are put on and then taken off because they did not pass the inspection of the ironing police.
We have gone on great scavenger hunts to find a missing shoe or Sunday school quarterly or Bible or pacifier.
Time and time again, Michelle and I have become drill sergeants. We bark orders down the stairs into the family room. “Turn those lights off! Make sure the toilet isn’t still running! Did you brush your teeth? Is the dog down there? Where is your sister?”
It’s funny to me when we all finally make it to the car on those mornings. Everyone is safe and sound and buckled in.
We head down the road. Often, the old, yellowed and dusty lecture is pulled out of Michelle’s purse. “If you would just plan the night before and lay out your clothes…” the lecture begins.
By the time we pull into the church parking lot, we are ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille.
You can hear the angels singing as our shiny family gets out of the van. We all walk together into the church. No one knows of the hollering or the lectures or the fact we almost came to church with two different shoes on.
School days often begin much the same. Today, someone had to head back downstairs to brush his teeth. Oh yeah, and I need this signed. Oh, and I need some money for the special snack day we are having sixth hour. Oh, and where is my saxophone?
Since I go to school with my kids, I also need to be prepared each day. I lay out my clothes. I position my book bag so it is easy to scoop up as I exit the house. I make sure my lunch is packed and ready on most days.
But every now and then, it seems that time gets away from us and our scheduled departure time comes too quickly or passes us by.
Today, I decided I would just get in the car. I often fantasize about leaving one or two of them at home and teaching them a lesson.
I kiss Michelle and the baby good bye and head to the car. I look at my watch. I frown. I rev up the motor.
This morning, I switched on the radio and “What a Wonderful World” came on. A pleasant melody. Louis Armstrong. You know the tune. It’s sort of funny to sit in a quiet car, listening to music, yet watching the scene outside the car play out.
As Louis sang about clouds of white, my beautiful daughter ran out, carefully making sure her backpack was properly slung over her shoulder. She hopped in the car, glad to have beaten her brothers and grateful that her mean, old dad hadn’t left her.
The boys are next. First the younger son, still moving slowly, plods out. He had recently become very interested in how his hair looks, so there is a lot of straightening and shaking of the head as he gets in the car. He’s really grown up in the last few months.
Oldest child comes out next, moving slowly and obviously thinking of other things. He is serious. The baby boy I once knew now has the face of a person on the brink of adulthood. How did this happen?
As I watch my children coming to the car and as I listen to the song, I go from being a disgruntled father to an amused one. I am proud of all them. I am reminded of how much they all mean to me.
Regardless of the hectic pace we sometimes experience, it’s all pretty wonderful.