What the heck is that sound ringing in the middle of my girlfriend’s boyfriend’s guitar solo? It doesn’t go with the song? Why is it still playing?
Oh crap, is that the alarm clock? Ringing at 3:45 am? I’m sort of awakened from my dream, but close my eyes again and start to drift off.
There it goes again, why is that still ringing? What the heck? Oh yeah, I set it so I could get up and call Sarah. I slap my hand in the direction of the alarm clock to turn off the ringing. I force open my eyes…stretch my legs outside of the covers…move them to the edge of the bed…sit up…stand up. Good, a vertical position…now walk…
I’m waking up, bit by bit, through the movement of my legs. Here I am, up earlier than usual. Surmising to my sleepy self that even as an empty nester, my mom job is, thankfully, never done. Sarah asked me to call her at 4:00 am to make sure she’s up and ready for her trip. I smile – “I’m still needed!”
I shuffle to the bathroom while doing my normal must-pee-the-moment-I-rise dance. Shaking off the sleep some more as the rest of my body shocked awake from the chill of the room.
Both cats are flitting back and forth in the dark, room by room, doing their yippee-the-day-has-begun strut. I swear they have some special switch that turns on, the moment I move, for them to be alert so fast. Nah, they’ve probably been up prowling since the alarm went off. Yeah, that’s it, the Pavlovian alarm clock bells ringing triggered their instinctual search for food to fill their hanging near the ground bellies.
I rub the sand out of my eyes as I stumble my way to the closet. I remove my cuddly warm jammies to put on running clothes. As I pull my shorts up over my belly, I chuckle to myself thinking about how cat bellies sag as they age, too. I slowly lower myself to the floor to put on jogging shoes. I’m alert enough to remember that as I age, balancing on one foot in a semi-alert state is not a good idea. I add my sweatshirt on top to keep warm…burr, when will that furnace catch up? I think I’m more awake now.
I shut off the closet lights, and move cautiously across the room in the dark toward the bed. Navigating to the sounds of Copper yawning and coughing his little man style cough – his way of waking up. I pause by the bed to help him find his cute little never-use-it-alone staircase. The mom in me forces him as he reluctantly takes it to get to floor level.
Both of us sneak quietly out of the room, not disturbing my slumbering husband – he must be in some really good dream that fit with the alarming bell song?
The cats begin to meow – they’re hungry even though it is earlier than their normal feeding time. They are the agilest of the foursome as we relocate to the next room.
I grab my phone to check the time – 3:56 am. Whew…I have 4 minutes before I’m supposed to call. Just enough time to let Copper out to do his job. It’s cold outside – a whopping 18 degrees, and dark. He dashes outside as I open the door. I flip the switch on to give him light. Am I still dreaming or did I just watch Copper reverse smoke a quick Cuban-size cigar that dropped to the ground in its steamy exit from his shivering little body? Man…I might need to stop feeding him so much…or I need a cup of coffee to wake up?! He’s done in record speed! I open the door as he dashes back into the house, doing his full body shake-off-the-chill moves. He snorts the cold out of his nose and looks adoringly at me with his where-is-my-greenie look.
Off to the kitchen, we both go. The cats are still waiting patiently for me to feed them. First I must check the time.
3:59 am. If I dial now, she’ll answer by 4:00. First call, no answer. Oh my God, she’s still sleeping…and going to miss her plane…
2nd call. Still no answer. Shit – I’m not dressed enough to venture out into the cold to go get her – she’d still be late and miss her plane…
Dial one more time – she can’t miss her plane…
3rd call, 3rd ring…and she finally picks up to answer my “Weren’t you awake yet?” questions! Oh my, another reason I stopped coloring my hair. I’m convinced this is the stuff gray hairs are made of.
Whew, she’s awake! I feel my hot flashes turn to chills as the furnace kicks off.
I listen to her, on her alert and ready to travel voice, she tells me, “I’m glad you called! My phone was in my robe and the ringing helped me find it. I might have forgotten it hadn’t you called. We’re ready – just finishing up eating and we’ll be heading out the door. I love you too…Yes, I’ll let you know when we get to the airport…And yes, when I land, and yes when I get there…And I love you, too, Mom!”
Another successful daughter relocating launch in the books for this empty nester mom. Time to feed the pets and drink some coffee.
Pets all fed – I’m fully awake now, almost ready for the treadmill and the normal routine of the day. As I walk to the kitchen for another cup of coffee, I glance to the living room and see Dessy has relocated her full belly to the coffee table. Keeping watchful eyes on things. Waiting quietly for my husband to rise and feed her again at her normal feeding time. She is always ready to relocate at a moment’s notice when food is involved.
Oh, and a text from Sarah….”Boarded and seated!” She made it to the plane on time!