It’s 7:33 pm. Twenty seven minutes before I swore up and down to myself, Emma Kelly and the Lord that she would be in bed with the lights out and prayers said. And she’s in the middle of eating supper…I’ve got her school uniform in the washing machine…I just smeared some white shoe polish on last year’s saddle oxfords…and I’m wondering if I’m going to be able to keep this great big half-threat/half-promise I made.

But I can’t believe my daughter is starting kindergarten tomorrow!!! And I’m missing her first day of school…..again. That’s the thing about this job o’mine — I miss weekday mornings with Emma Kelly. But then again, I think I romanticize about it too much in my head. The reality of the situation is, my life ain’t no sitcom. I don’t have a team of writers or a makeup and wardrobe department prepping us to pretty perfection before someone yells “Action!” and we cheerily start our day, allowing plenty of time for a made-from-scratch stack of pancakes and witty back-and-forth banter before we head out the door with time to spare before the first ring of the school bell. I know that in real life, I’d end up yelling at my child for the fifteenth time to get out of bed, listening to her scream as I torture her matted curls into some sort of presentable ponytail, tearing apart the pantry in a panic because I forgot until that very moment that it was my day to provide snacks for the entire class, and grabbing EK a Pop Tart and a Capri Sun as we race out of the house and high-tail it to school because one more tardy means an unexcused absence. That would be my morning.

So maybe it’s not SO bad that I can’t be there for the start of every school day. But I DO get to pick her up from school every day. I just hope it’s better than last year…..Last year, I’d pull up in the pre-K car line and EK would fold her arms and stick out her bottom lip the moment she got in the car, throwing an “I’m mad at you!” jab at my gut. Why? Because she wanted to stay for day care. Every. Day. Why? Because they don’t call it “day care” and EK’s school. They call it “camp.” And even though my child has never been camping, she has this idea in her head that she’s missing out on some sort of magical fun each and every day because she’s not lucky enough to have a mom who doesn’t get off work until 5pm. I have a good mind to let her sit through one day of “camp” and let her see how much fun she’s missing….But I’ll see how these first few days of 5K go before I decide on that one. As for right now, I’ve got to start nudging my kid towards bed. It’s almost 8:00!!