An Unexpected Send-Off

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I glanced at the alarm clock.  5:13.  An hour and two minutes earlier than the alarm set time.  I might as well get up.  One thing I know about myself:  I wouldn’t be falling back to sleep.  I threw the covers back, swung my feet to the floor, and padded off to the bathroom to begin my day. Excitement, mixed with a little apprehension, filled my thoughts in spite of my grogginess.  The warm water and billowing steam of the shower were just what I needed to get my brain in high gear.  What else do I need to pack?  Why am I so indecisive?  Why can’t I just throw any old clothes in my suitcase for this trip?  

Well, I knew good and well why…this time of year can be winter or spring.  What would the weather be Ohio?  I sighed.

I stepped out of the shower with a tentative plan of action.  After applying minimalist make-up, I threw on the decided-upon clothes and stepped back into the darkened bedroom.

“You’re up early,” a gravely voice rumbled.

“I know.  I just got up.  I knew I wouldn’t go back to sleep.”

“Turn on the light.  I’m getting up, too.”

So I did.  I quickly finished packing the rest of the items in my suitcase.  Zip!    Turning, I headed out the door and tripped lightly down the stairs.  How could I have forgotten to set the delay start for the coffee? Ugh!  Just as I was pushing the button for the morning brew, the front door flew open.  Footsteps echoed on the oak floorboards.  

“Hi, Mom.  What are you doing up?” said a surprised voice.  Jimmy and his brother, Davey, had just gotten back from an early morning workout at the gym.  Their first day of actually going at 5:00 A.M.

“I’m getting ready to go,” I replied.  “I didn’t think you guys would really get up.  I thought I heard an alarm about 4:00, but I thought it was my imagination.  Was the gym crowded?”

“Nah.  Only a few people.  I think I like the early morning crowd better than the people in the evening.  They are more focused and follow gym etiquette better.”

“That’s good.  There’s enough coffee brewing for you two if you want some when it’s done.  I have to go up and finish fixing my hair.”

“I’ll come and talk to you,” Jimmy offered.  

“O.K.”

What followed was an everyday conversation over the hum of the blowdryer about this and that and not that much of anything, really.  Then when my hair was reasonably put together, I clicked off the blow dryer and turned to leave.  Jimmy was one step ahead of me, grabbing the suitcase and carried it down the stairs.  

By this time, Davey and John, my husband, were in the kitchen.  Even the dog and cat meandered in.  This is a big crowd!  Especially for this early.  

Pouring a cup of coffee for each one, we stood around the island chatting and laughing and sipping our brew.  

“Well, I better go.  Love you my,” Davey said as he gave me a hug.  “Have a great week.  When will you be back again?”

“On Friday about midnight,” I answered.  “I love you, too.  I’ll miss you.”

“I better go take a shower, Mom,” Jimmy said as he came over to give me a good-bye hug.

“I love you.  Have a great week,” I said as I hugged him back.  

John and I took the rest of my things out to the car, climbed in, and backed down the driveway.  At the car rental place, John loaded my things in the van, gave me a hug and added, “I love you.  Have a great week.  Be sure to call when you get in.”

As I got in the van and turned on to the main drag, my heart felt full to the bursting.  What an unexpected sendoff!  I am blessed!

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About bjdonaldson

I think of myself as a Renaissance woman with a variety of passions. If you visited me, you might find me hanging out with my husband and children. Our Golden Retriever would be lovingly near. I am a Literacy Coach/Reading Specialist at an elementary school where I provide professional development and coaching to teachers. Formerly, I was a Reading Recovery teacher, an interventionist, and a middle and elementary classroom teacher. Getting up in the morning is not hard; I still love making a difference in the lives of children and teachers.

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