This morning, as I sit down to write this, I have just dropped my kids off for their first day of school and I'm sitting here in silence. Beautiful, luxurious, healing silence. I happen to have a lot to do today, otherwise I can guarantee you I'd sit in this comatose state staring at the walls for the next seven hours and I wouldn't care what anyone thinks about.

First days of school are always the best. This past weekend we spent time cleaning and organizing their rooms. Last night I made lunches and was sure all the clothes were picked out and the socks and shoes were located and ready to go. I was even up before the sun this morning and made some muffins for their breakfast. It was truly an awe-inspiring, made for TV morning.

Of course, it's all downhill from here.

I'm not even naive enough to think "I'm going to be better this year!" I am well aware that this morning was a total freak show and it will never happen again. Until the first day of school next year.

I've pretty much established a pattern that works well for me throughout the school year.

First day (Maybe week...positive thinking?) of school:

Wake up: All of us wake up bright-eyed, ready to go!

Breakfast: Hot. Wholesome. Made with love.

Lunches: Made the night before. For the most part all food groups represented. Fresh fruit. I even put the crackers or sandwich in a little container so they don't get smashed in the brand new, squeaky-clean lunch box.

Clothes: Washed, folded, picked out, ready to wear. Shoes, too!

The rest of the year:

Wake up: Ugh. Drag myself out of bed and stumble into the rooms of the children who on weekends and summer breaks happily wake up before dawn, but are now in certified comas. Set off nuclear bombs. Hope for the best.

Breakfast: Hopefully they catch the crackers I throw at them to eat in the car. Definitely not made with love. More like made with "an obligation to feed them something even if it's just crackers or a stale PopTart".

Lunches: Two options here, buy lunch at school (as soon as I forget to put money in your accounts and get a phone call about it) or I can throw some peanut butter crackers, a pickle, a bottle of tap water, and a stick of gum in a sack because the lunchbox (if I can find it) smells like the rotten banana that's been in there for three weeks. Your choice.

Clothes: This is sort of a scavenger hunt at best and a search and rescue mission at worst most of the time. Drawers, the dryer, a pile on the couch, laundry baskets of clean clothes, laundry baskets of dirty clothes...I really can't say where your next school outfit is going to be coming from, but as long as there is no odor or visible stains you're good to go. Matching is optional, it's your reputation, not mine.

This all has to be done quickly because the remainder of our morning is distributed in the following manner:

10 percent doing homework someone forgot to do.

5 percent looking for something someone accused his mother of losing but then finds it in his room where she told him to look four times.

85 percent looking for one or both shoes.

Here's to another great year, y'all.

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