I hold these truths to be self-evident, that I am not a morning person, that I love sleep, I love my bed and I love my pillow. That nothing other than road trips and garage sales and babies has ever gotten me out of bed before 6:00 a.m. And yet here I am waking up at 5:30 for the past 8 weekdays. “Whoa!” you say, “That’s a lot of road trips!” But sadly I haven’t gone anywhere. “Gosh! That must be the longest running garage sale in history! Guinness Book of World Records?” Oh, but if that were true. “OMG! You’re a new mom??!” Nope, I’m an old mom. With a 14 year old baby who just started high school. A high school that has a start time of 7:15. Accounting for traffic and wardrobe showdowns and lunch making and taking the dog out, I calculated our wake-up time had to be… beep boop beep.. half past no time I ever wanted to be aware existed. Ok, I should say here that I KNOW that 5:30 a.m. exists. I’ve stayed up all night and seen it for myself plenty of times. You know why? Because I’m a night owl!! The opposite of a morning person. (See? Mornings are so awful they don’t even have a mascot.)
To add insult to injury, at the same time as I’m waking up before the sun, I also started a carb and sugar free detox. That means no sugar in my coffee. That means no coffee because, ew. The reasons why are long and involved but basically I blame it on my birthday. It was a month ago and I had been celebrating for days. Twenty four of them to be exact. August was my month of “yes”. Dinner out? Yes! Dessert? Yes! Another glass of wine? Yes! Pizza again? Yes! Ice cream? Yes! I’m pretty sure the only thing I said no to was vegetables. Long story short, my body had an idea. Want to shoot pain through Eileen’s abdomen and make her feel like she’s giving birth to a food baby? My stomach’s answer? Yes! The Sunday before high school started I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if maybe I was in labor. Was I pregnant and didn’t know it?? After thoughts like “OMG! My friends will think I’m an idiot!” and “Could an immaculate conception happen AGAIN?!” and “Ugh. I’m going to be the oldest mom on the playground.”, I finally surmised it was probably the Razberitas and garlic knots coming back to say hi. I told you I wasn’t making good choices. But at least I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t know it!
Back to my point, waking up super early and not having access to coffee left me with no ability to care about my appearance. One morning last week, I forget which one- they all run together in a blurry slow-motion blob, we were driving to school. I could feel my daughter’s eyes on me. She said, “So, you’ve got your hair half up, half down. The part that’s down is half curly, half straight. You’ve got nailpolish on only two nails and they’re different colors. And you spilled green tea on your shorts. Mama… you’re kind of a hot mess right now.” I couldn’t deny it.
I am a hot mess. Did I mention my daughter started high school??! I’m emotionally fragile and sleep deprivation doesn’t help. I legit pull over into random parking lots to cry periodically. (And am now using phrases such as “legit” which is a sure sign I need help.) I stare at babies in restaurants and stores and make stupid faces at them to get them to smile because living in a house containing teens, I miss people thinking I’m amusing instead of annoying. I walk out the door without a bra because I can only remember to do two things that early and that day brushing my teeth and putting in my contacts won. (Yes, that means that some days I will only remember a bra and contacts. That’s what they make Altoids for. Also I’ve been wearing my glasses a lot more often lately.) I hit the grocery store at 6:55 with no make-up on and drag myself down the aisles among people with jobs walking with purpose to get their protein bars on the way to work completely put together and in one piece. I guess what I’m saying is please don’t be alarmed when you see me shuffling like a cast member of The Walking Dead with the exact same pallor and fashion sense. I’m ok. I just need a cup of coffee, a pillow and a hug. And a start bell that rings somewhere around 11:30. That would be amazing.