The morning dawns not with the sun but with the steady, dull blink of the blue alarm clock.
Your hair looks funny, he says, digging his two front teeth into an orange wedge.
They're here! he shouts when the guy who drives the carpool pulls up.
He scrambles to unwrap a chocolate kiss from the advent calendar while pushing his folder into his bag.
They run out the door yelling good-bye!
I sit with her in her room as she goes over, once, twice, three, seventy-five times, the same thing over and over each morning not like a blink but more like the sunrise, inexorable in its regularity.
When I can't look anymore, when my patience wears thin and I would rather push the day back and down back into darkness I rise and walk away from her and through the house, stepping over the trail and detritus of normalcy. The tiny playmobil sword, the errant sock in the doorway, the plastic boxers askew on the dining room table, exhausted from the bout, the air they breathe.