I am the first person they look for when they wake up in the morning. A hug from me is what gets their day started. The rush begins soon after—kids need help with school uniforms, packing lunch boxes, and leaving for their day in the world outside. I get ready last, but that doesn’t matter.
The day is often spent completing innumerable chores, which will make tomorrow a bit easier. Cupboards need to be arranged, beds need to be made, dishes organized, and laundry sorted. I do these things to make life smooth and moving forward for everyone else. I reach my cup of tea last, but that doesn’t matter.
Evenings often mirror the chaos of the mornings. I get to drive around with constant chatter from the backseats of the car, either dropping them at tennis class or picking up from music class. The trunk is a closet with sports bags and rackets and hats ready to go. I reach my destination last, but that doesn’t matter.
Homework is attempted to be completed before bedtime. There are meltdowns when it seems too much. There are times I lose it too, but I’m still the one to provide calm. I bring back their perspective, and in turn, instill a new confidence in them to keep going. I get the bath ready, stomachs filled, and tuck-ins done. I get to bed last, but that doesn’t matter.
It is the season of messes, tantrums, questions, confusion, and chaos in my life. But it is also the season of growth, innocence, affection, care, and love. It’s a time when I need to give—often putting myself last—but there is so much to gain in return. As long as I am the first one they look to when in need, the lasts don’t matter.