Monday, August 08, 2005

Picture Perfect

Every once in a while a two hour block of your life seems like it is dragged directly from a Disney film, a Norman Rockwell painting, or a chapter from a Leo Buscaglia book. This morning was like that for me.

Stacey had been with me for three weeks, and is going back to her mom today. My task this morning was a simple one I've done hundreds (thousands?) of times before: get her up, in the shower, feed her, drop her off at day care. Today my heart really wasn't in it though, because I was still exhausted from yesterday's activities.

Yesterday, Stacey, my mentee Dave, and I went to COSI to see the Titanic exhibit, and did much running around there and walking in the hot sun, and walked about a mile from COSI to the closest Mongolian Barbecue to eat dinner. After dropping Dave off at home, Stacey and I got Heidi (her dog) and went down the dog park for about an hour to let her run around. Basically we were both beat by the end of the day.

So I attempted to get Stacey up for a couple minutes, and decided to give up and try again later, so I crawled into bed beside her. She stirred a little, and scooted over to me and put her head on my shoulder, all with her eyes closed lest I accuse her of being awake. Heidi promptly got jealous and jumped on the bed and laid down on Stacey's other side and scooted in close so the three of us made a giant Stacey sandwich.

I vaguely remember Stacey talking to the dog after that, and the sounds of running water. After that I remember Stacey pulling at my arm and trying to jerk me out of bed. "Daddy, we're going to be late to Roya's."

She had gotten up, taken a shower, got dressed, and combed her hair, all while I snoozed. I took my shower, we brushed our teeth together, and said goodbye to the dog, and headed to McDonald's for some drive-through breakfast. We talked on the way to day care, and I told her how pretty she looked and how proud I was of her for taking care of herself and being mature (yes, while I snoozed, shush! I'm telling a story here!)

At the day care, the teachers were all glad to see her, and some of the younger kids' faces lit up and they ran over to her with whatever little toy they had. I took my goodbye kiss and left her to enjoy herself with her little toddler and preschool friends, where she no doubt acts like a substitute mommy.

I couldn't have made up a more poignant story of a great kid and her early morning antics. Stacey was already the best, but she just keeps getting better all the time.

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