The Breakfast Chaos
With three schools and different start times, mornings are hectic.
I remember breakfast time growing up. I was the oldest of three kids. We lived out in the country, a ten-minute drive from the nearest small village and a thirty-minute drive from a larger city. My mom stayed at home and my dad worked “in town.”
We attended a Catholic grade school that didn’t have its own busing available. We could get on the public school’s bus and be taken to a drop point where a shuttle bus would collect us and transport us the rest of the way. It was a very long route since the public school bus needed to pick up every other kid along the winding country roads and houses that were sometimes miles apart. Most days, my dad would drop us off at school on his way to work and my mom would pick us up.
Breakfast was at the same time every morning. I remember my alarm going off at 6:30 a.m. By 6:45, we were all gathered around the kitchen table. Even years later, when I was driving myself and my sister to school, this routine did not change. The only exceptions were early morning activities, like marching band in the Fall and Shakespeare Club that I attended throughout high school, meeting at 7:00 a.m. and the teacher always brought doughnuts.
It was almost always cereal and toast. There was a tiny tv in the kitchen where my mom could watch the news, but never while we were eating. And I remember that the local newspaper was delivered, though don’t have a strong memory of anyone reading the paper around the breakfast table. Likely, because of our country location, the paper didn’t arrive until later in the day.
Now, with my own family of five, our mornings are far less structured.
I have a middle schooler, an elementary schooler, and a preschooler. It now boggles my mind that growing up, all of the schools always had near-identical start times of around 8:00 a.m. This year, I’m facing a middle school start time of 8:00 a.m., a preschool start time of 8:30, and an elementary school start time of 9:05.
The middle schooler leaves on the bus at 7:30, so he is the first to rise. He listens to a snippet of news from NPR every morning by asking “Alexa, what’s new?” to the Echo device in our kitchen.