“You’re the best mom in the world.” He pulls my hand so I sit next to him on the bed.

“You got fifteen minutes.” I get up and and gingerly go down the stairs using the walls as support. Mornings are not my friend. The body creaks as I reach for the cast iron pan. Heat it up. Start the coffee.

“Aidan?…Connor?…Ga-” Gabriel is plopping himself in a seat by the table. He folds his arms and puts his head down and goes back to sleep. I wipe my hands on my apron. (I know, I know, apron? They’re a good thing.) Walk to the base of the stairs and yell their names again. I wait for muffled and clearly still in bed voices of acknowledgement.

“Ten minutes!”

Oil in the pan. Slice the bread and butter a side, grill it. “Honey, wake up. Get your socks and shoes on.” He sleepwalks. Flip the bread. Steam the milk. Plate the toast and start the eggs two at a time. Over medium. I yell up at the ceiling, “Breakfast is almost ready! You should be down here!”

Sleepyboy sits down and starts his breakfast. I saw a fleeting Connor heading downstairs to the basement for fresh laundry. Aidan comes down and says as he usually does, “I’m tired of eggs.”

“Well eat something.” He will make himself a cup of tea and leave it behind on the table. He does this. He opts for cereal. The dog announces a car.

Jim arrives and says, “We’re late.” And as he packs lunches into the boys’ backpacks I turn breakfast into some sort of sandwich. I am guessing Jim’s back seat is littered with my fiestaware. Mass exodus.

Five minutes of quiet before

Feed the dog. Feed the cats. Shoes. Bag. Out.

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