I wake before the alarm sounds to a little body clinging to mine like glue, moulded against my form. I am gripping the side of the bed as if my life depended on it. I feel like I have a giant mud sucker attached to my back. I get my bearings, stretch and make the trek downstairs to shower.
Back up I go to get dressed and make beds, and then it is down the stairs and out the door for another day in the classroom.
The work day through, I arrive home and immediately begin to gather up loose articles that have managed to misplace themselves and become separated from their rightful owners. Everything is placed temporarily on the stairs in the hopes that someone might be generous and redistribute such objects to the various rooms from whence they came, mere hours ago. In the likely event that does not happen, then the next trip I make to the second floor will include a load of these and other items, assuming I have not tripped and killed myself on them first.
Down the stairs, to make supper.
After supper, a trek back up to do laundry, prepare baths, set out pajamas and coat toothbrushes with sugar, ‘er… I mean toothpaste. Down, to finish the last-minute kitchen clean-up. Up again, for baths and more laundry. Down, if I forget a book, or medicine or the hot water bottle. Up, slowly this time, to take the little one to her room for the night. Down again, to steal a few precious minutes checking out my Facebook home page. Back up when hubby comes looking an ally to fight the bedtime battles.
And so it goes, my day of ups and downs. Literally.
I have just now come downstairs for the umpteenth time tonight, to undertake the following (which includes over the course of the last half-hour, but is not limited to): a jaunt up the staircase to get everyone settled in for the night, to brush teeth, to say prayers, read stories, offer kisses, give hugs, do some cuddling, have a little snuggle time, shout out reminders to stay in bed, take disciplinary action when a certain someone plays her music to loud, lie down for chats in bed, do some tuck-ins, offer more kisses, say more good-nights, and a final lights-out plea by yours truly before I finally reach a breaking point.
I am now sitting in front of the computer downstairs, and I have just noticed to my left, a teacher’s guide that I brought home for the evening is now sporting chew marks in the corner, giving new meaning to the term dog-earred. If I could, and if it was actually a worthwhile activity, I would quite willingly throw myself downstairs this very minute out of sheer frustration. It is a good thing our computer is on the first level.
When my feet hit the floor each morning, it a blessing that I do not know what steps I will have to take that day. I take the first step committing to do what I need to do in that moment. I do not worry over where my last step will take me when night signals the end of the day. When all is said and done, and I am sitting quietly in front of my computer to write, those steps seem so inconsequential in light of where they have taken me. Here, to write. It is my place of quiet reflection and inner sanctum.
So, as much as it has been a long day, with more stair steps than I would ever commit to run on a StairMaster, I would do it again. For this. Because it has made my life, step by sure step, full and rich with stories.