One thing I never thought I would do much of? Making breakfast. It was just never my thing. But I’m spending a lot of time in my kitchen on school mornings. My son’s new high school schedule means he has to get up at 5:25 am so that he can catch a 6:30 bus to school. And I’ve been getting up with him. Every single day. And making him breakfast.

And even though I bitch and moan about getting up early, I know it’s my choice. Some would say, “Let him get up by himself.” Others may scoff and say, “Let him make his own breakfast. Or give him a granola bar.” And I could do that. But I want him to go to school with something nutritious in his stomach. I mean, how many times have I read that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

And I also know myself. I wouldn’t be able to sleep, even though I’m snuggled up next to my husband under a down comforter, staying warm in the coolness of my air conditioned bedroom, knowing he was downstairs by himself. It would just be so lonely. And I don’t think that’s a good way for him to start off his day.

So I’m making him a hot breakfast. Most every morning. Usually, it’s a few eggs, poached or fried, with toast or grits or even bacon. Or homemade pancakes with some ground flax seed thrown in to balance out the chocolate and butterscotch chips. But sometimes he pours himself a bowl of cereal and has a side of fruit or a glass of orange juice. 

It’s not like we even talk that much. I drink my coffee and read the two daily newspapers that arrive outside our door. (More likely, in the bushes. The prickly Crown of Thorns.) He reads the sports sections. I fold a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher and do some work on my computer. Sometimes he looks at the weather forecast on his iPad. But then he takes a 15 minute shower and I clean up the breakfast dishes. And I have to knock on the bathroom door and tell him he’s going to miss his bus and I’m not driving him the 10 miles to school. Before we know it, we’re out the front door and walking the couple of blocks to the bus stop.

Honestly, I don’t mind doing it, getting up with him and making him breakfast. Contrary to what you might think, he’s really sweet at that time of the day. No complaining about what time he has to get up. Or if I break the yolks of his fried eggs. And it’s our time together, even if not much is said. I keep thinking that in four years I won’t have the opportunity to get up early with him because he’ll be gone. Off to college.

I don’t think I’m spoiling him or giving him a feeling of entitlement. He appreciates it. And I’m just trying to ensure that he gets off on a good foot every day. And in a way, it’s an expression of how much I love him and support him. I mean the kid is getting up at 5:30 am. It’s not an easy time of day to awaken. And, as my husband has said on more than one occasion, “I can sleep when I’m dead.”

Plus getting up with him is helping me get back in shape. At 6:30, I walk out with him, down to the bus stop and start my run. I’m loving running at that hour of the morning. It’s not hot yet and no one is around to see how slowly I run. It’s only been a few weeks since I started but I can feel that I’m already running a little faster because I need to go further in order to run for the same amount of minutes.

When I get home, after my run, my endorphins are going and I feel great. I have time to switch out the laundry, check my email, take a shower and get dressed for work. Then my daughter wakes up. She has two more years until high school so she gets to sleep in, which is good. She needs it. She eventually stumbles downstairs and the kitchen re-opens. Bacon? Pancakes? Whatever she wants. She has needs too.

I am a Short Order Mom. And I love it. Most of the time.

Image via billbooz/Flickr