Getting the kids off to school in the morning can be chaotic. In my house it’s a given, particularly as a mother of a 10 year old and 8 year old twins. One rainy day in June, our morning started at 6 a.m. with a little voice yelling from the bathroom, “Mooooooom! MOOOOMM! Someone clogged the toilet again! And you know I’m afraid to use the bathroom downstairs!!” Ok, ok I’m up. As soon as I got out of bed, however, I was met face-to-face with my 10 year old son, “Mum? Can I have an Oreo for breakfast? There’s nothing else to eat.” Whoa, I just got up here buddy, I thought to myself. “What! Yes there is! You can have toast or oatmeal.” He put his hands together, begging, “But Muuuuum, why can’t I have an Oreo?” Oh come on now, even he knows that’s not breakfast food. Why is he doing this to me? “Because I said NO! Now get dressed!” My frustration was definitely building this morning. He begged and pleaded his case why he should, in fact, have an Oreo for breakfast. He’s going to be a great politician one day, or a maybe a lawyer perhaps. As I was putting lunches in the backpacks, one of my twin daughters came running out of her bedroom in tearful hysterics because her twin sister broke her very special, scented, tie dyed, star-shaped silly band which she got from her friend at school after trading her pineapple-shaped silly band. She began jumping up and down in my face, tossing her hair, body flailing about, “Muuuum….. you need to fix it!!!” Seriously, do I? I counted about 50 other silly bands growing up her arm like weeds, and with so many scents that the she smells like a Yankee Candle store. I wondered if I could I melt it back together with a lit match. Will that destroy the scent or the tie dye in it? Sheeesh….all this drama over an elastic. By the way, I noticed that they now sell Red Sox silly bands? They’ve apparently jumped on the “band” wagon as well, just a side note there. Anyhow, her twin sister finally apologized, after ignoring my plea to do so several times by making loud, random police siren noises in the living room. Apparently the apology was still not good enough, so my daughter sulked and cried over this absolute catastrophe in her room. All this over a silly band, how silly I thought and laughed! By 8:10 a.m., I was making my way down the stairs to get my son out to the bus when my dog, Harley, refused to go out if even two raindrops hit the ground, danced under my feet because she had to go out but wouldn’t, ultimately tripping me on the stairs causing me to do a butt slide down. While trying to compose myself, she decided to go hide in my son’s room and conduct her business there. Thanks, Harley. Finally my son’s bus arrived at 8:15 a.m. I let out a deep sigh… aaahh, one down two to go. Suddenly, my daughter emerged from her room, obviously finished with her silly band tantrum, “Mum! Where’s my water bottle? Can you fill in up for me because I have gym today!” Uh, well hello there Miss Bossy, “How about saying please? What am I your slave? Well? Am I?”. She looked at me sheepishly, “Sorry Mum, please?” That’s better! As I started to fill up her water bottle, I noticed a trail of Oreo crumbs on the kitchen floor. My son must have snuck them at some point! My irritation was interrupted with my daughter’s begging, “I want to wait outside for the bus.” “But honey, it’s pouring out.” I reasoned.. “I like getting wet, and my shoe is untied.” She explained. Feeling a bit defeated now, I replied, “Fine, go get your umbrella and please tie your shoe.” Finally the girls’ bus arrived at 8:45 a.m.. I slumped on my stairs and rested my head against the wall. The next 6 hours are all mine! Albeit, cleaning the house, running errands and working. It sunk in that there were only 5 days left of the school year. How quickly it had gone! Is this morning a preview of how summer will be? The arguing, exhausting debates, whining, police siren noises, tantrums over silly bands, bossiness, clogged toilets and poop? The fight for a block of time to call my own, only to clean, do laundry and rush around with errands? Wait! Hold on a minute! Suddenly my thought pattern changed, as I mentally played back this morning and began to giggle at how funny the morning was (except for the slip down the stairs, not funny!) Then I began to feel a surge of excitement. Summer means later mornings. A break from homework. A break from scrambling to preparing everyone’s lunches or snacks or digging to loose change for when you don’t have time to make them. A break from waiting for buses and rushing to be on time for them. Summer means slowing down, more beach time, pool time, friend time, and more fun family time. Hmmm…..this summer thing is sounding really good! Positive thoughts took over. Maybe if I plan it right my only laundry would be bathing suits and beach towels. That frees up time to play on the trampoline with the kids, more s’mores nights around the fire pit, random kick ball games, baseball games and ice cream nights. My frustration from the morning had completely lifted and was replaced with all the fun possibilities this summer holds. Still sitting on the stairs, in the distance I could hear my cat fighting off something in the yard. Nice. I began to laugh and look at the time. It’s 9:00 a.m. already? Think I’ll celebrate the start of summer early with an Oreo or two for breakfast!