Wednesday, October 17, 2007

High Waters

Mornings around the castilo have been running fairly smoothly so far this school year. Sure, C and S are pretty difficult to wake up, but JP springs out of bed and lately GK has been sleeping in a bit, which helps. So the a.m. unfolds leisurely for the most part. But that time is mainly the calm before the storm. The calm lasts from around seven, when I first start waking them, until about 7:45. That's when the storm hits. That is the moment, regular as clockwork, when the dressing starts and the gathering of backpacks and lunches and the telling me that this or that piece of paper needs to be signed - elementary school teachers love signatures - begins. As much of a whirlwind as it is, though, it's manageable and we're normally out the door by eight. Unless, of course, something goes wrong. Not much has to go wrong, but it's like I learned when I scaled Sugarloaf, one bad foothold or misplaced rock can set you back on the journey to your goal. This morning it was JP and his pants.

Today is picture day and the general understanding seemed to be that jeans were allowed to be worn, but JP questioned this. Questioned it for about 10 minutes, in fact, until I finally told him just to wear his khakis, which he was perfectly willing to do but just needed someone else to voice that solution. But where are his pants? Big Mama is already on the comment button to tell me, and all of you, that JP has more pants than anyone in the house, and this is true. The kid is flush with trousers. However, the majority of them are just a tad too large in the waist and slip right off of his emaciated, Iggy Pop-like frame. I told him to go look in the dryer, the defacto chest of drawers for our family, so he went in the kitchen and peeked into the toaster oven or the dishwasher or whichever appliance confused him this morning, and then came back to report he couldn't find any. So I went in, hunched into the opening with GK in my arms, further straining my back, and pulled a pair of khakis out, threw them at him from across the kitchen and implored him to hurry and get dressed because I could feel me and these kids slipping off Sugarloaf's sheer rock face. The winds were whipping our 15-minute storm into a frenzy now and I almost lost S in it all when she left the house without her ballet costume for her class today, the one I'd set out for her and told her to pack up. GK's lunch, sadly, was lost in the typhoon, I never even located her lunch box.

Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure. I'm sure because yesterday was better, but things have to fall apart every once in a while, the system has to break down. I'm only one man, after all, and not FEMA.

Oh, and I realized as the kids disembarked from the Volvo at school and trudged up to the door that there's a very good chance JP is wearing S's pants today. Should you see him, please don't point that out.