I opened my eyes for the first time that day. Directly ahead of me was my clock with its green numbers telling me it was 7:34 in the morning. I mean of course, besides the softened white light that was coming through my blinds to tell me it was morning, my clock was simply a backup to the thought. I normally woke up earlier than the house. Although the house consists of me and momma, well, and Max, there aren’t really too many people I need to get up before. Momma is usually in bed for another hour, but it’s nice to have a morning to myself and enjoy the fresh new day without anyone else. Well, except Max, but I already mentioned him.
I rolled away from my clock to face the window. There is so much light this morning. It must be a clear day. You know, I will say that momma did a great job picking out this house. I remember her coming home one day and told me that we were moving to a bigger house. My room was so small in the first place we lived, that I can remember anyway, that I had to play in the living room. It didn’t really matter to me considering momma never used the living room for herself, but being able to play in my room instead sounded really nice.
How long have we been here? Well, I am nine now, my birthday was just last week, and we had started packing right after I turned six. So using fractions, I’m learning them in school, one-third of my life I’ve been here. That’s a long time…
Sorry, anyway, the reason I think momma did a great job choosing this house is because of the windows. There is so much sunlight in every room of the house, including my playroom. Oh yeah, after all that about playing in my room and being excited, I ended up getting an entire playroom. I’ll show you. But look at this window. See how big it is. It takes up the whole top part of the wall on that side of the room. Sometimes it gets so bright I have to close the blinds AND the curtains. But it still leaks out. Not that I mind of course.
As I stared at the window I thought about all the things I wanted to do for the day. It was Saturday so I had no school for another two days. Do I want to work on my costume for Monday? No. I’ll do that tomorrow. Then what today? I laid there for a few minutes, thinking about what I wanted to do. Maybe me and Max will play a new game today. Yeah, that sounds like fun. We’ll make one up.
I rolled back onto my back and stretched my legs straight out as I arched my back and spread my arms and fingers out into fists with both hands. After making sounds much like little growling, I threw back my covers and sat up. Time to start the day.
Over the next thirty minutes I took a shower, brushed my teeth and got dressed. Since I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, I just put on some comfortable black sweat pants and a teeshirt with the different animated movies of Pixar. I want to go wake up Max, but I can’t until momma leaves for the day.
Does she work on Saturdays? Well she must, if not, I don’t know where she goes. To be honest, she works every day. She says she has two jobs, and they kinda overlap. She comes home after I’m in bed on some nights while others she gets home in time for dinner that Nanny Meg makes.
Actually, speaking of, I just heard the door, she must be here.
I put on my pink slippers and walked out of my room. Going down the hallway to the right I saw Nanny Meg standing in the kitchen already. Wearing all white, she was opening the fridge to get out our normal breakfast: two eggs, sunny side up but cooked inside of the hole she would make after taking out a center portion of the bread. I loved being the when she started the cooking because she would give me one of the centers of the bread. I think, the best part of the bread, really.
Nanny Meg was forty last I heard. Her and momma were talking one day about not being able to be here. I remember momma being really upset about it. I guess she must have had to work and couldn’t take the time off or something. In the end, another lady come and took care of me while momma was gone. That day I spent painting Nanny Meg a picture. She had once told me about a flower she used to see in the forest near her house. It was called a bugle. A blue flower that stood like a tower with different levels. Well, I looked up what to looked like and that’s what I painted her, because I wanted her to have flowers on her birthday.
Yes, she loved it, actually. She hung it in her room here. She doesn’t sleep here ever, but momma gave her a room, since we had extras, to make hers during the day.
When I got to the kitchen, Nanny Meg hugged me like she did every morning and asked me if I was hungry.
“Yes, please,” I said with a big smile.
I helped Nanny Meg with breakfast, pulling out both centers of the bread for our special eggs. Just as we were setting the table, I heard momma’s door open. I hadn’t seen her before sleeping last night, so I was excited to see her. Wearing black slacks, a white collared shirt and tan heels, momma walked down the hallway to the kitchen. I wanted to run to her, but momma didn’t approve of running in the house, so I just walked to her quickly and gave her a big hug around her waist.
“Well, good morning to you too, bug.” I smiled up at her as she called me bug. It was my favorite nickname, not that I necessarily have many, but ‘bug’ topped my list.
“Morning Neenee,” I said to her as she squeezed my shoulders in response and I looked up at her, “are you going to eat breakfast with us?”
Although I was including Nanny Meg, I was really just asking for me. Momma never stayed for breakfast, but I hoped after asking her every morning, one day she would. But, judging but the expression on her face, today was not that day, and I could tell that she could see that I knew. So, with no reason to say anything, she simply let me to and walked over the counter to pour a cup of coffee. I walked to the fridge and grabbed her two percent milk, bringing it to her when she had a full cup. The sugar was on the table, so I grabbed that too.
Getting her what she needed for her coffee was like we were making coffee together. I loved that feeling. Momma wasn’t home much, and when she was, she was usually in her room sleeping from the day. When I do see her, doing things together is most special to me. I wish we did things as daughter and mother more often. Maybe someday when I get older and can contribute to the house. Too bad that’s like another five to six years. As it was I only get to really see momma in the morning for the few minutes before she went to work.
It was the best part of the day…
…and then the worst part would come.
Momma finished making her coffee and eating her one piece of toast–the closest thing to eating with me– and grabbed her keys With coffee mug in hand, she came over to me and hugged me one more time before leaving. She said good-day to Nanny Meg ans made her way to the front door with me on her heels. One final kiss on my forehead, and she was out the door and walking to her car.
I know it may seem like my momma is far away, and you would be right. She just works so much and doesn’t have time to be around all the time. My dad? I can say that I have one. That’s about it. He isn’t, um, how do grown ups say it? Oh yeah, not in the picture. I don’t remember ever seeing him, not once. No, that doesn’t bother me. You think it would, but I’m happy with my momma…and Max.
As I watched momma leave, I wondered to myself, not for the first time, if she only hugged me when she left to remind me that she did love me or to simply to remind herself. I stood in the doorway and watched her leave then decided it was time to wake up Max.
Max usually slept in every day. The only time he woke up was when I woke him. I didn’t mind. He could sleep as long as he wanted, never bothered me. I usually woke him after momma left since Nanny Meg disappeared into the work day, cleaning, dusting, cooking and sometimes shopping if it was that day. All I had all day was Max. We I filled our days with anything that we wanted. Talking. Playing. Building. Drawing. Even painting. There were no limits to our fun. That was what I loved about him. We just had fun all the time. He is my best friend, and I really don’t know what I would do without him.
I walked back into the kitchen and unlocked the garage door. Grabbing the broom that sat to the left side of the door, I walked back through the kitchen.
As I passed, Nanny Meg asked, “Are you waking Max already? You haven’t had breakfast yet.”
I stopped where I was, which was partially out the kitchen doorway, and thought about it. Max won’t eat, so maybe I should just eat first. I propped the broom against the frame of the door and walking back to the kitchen table. I could see a smile on Nanny Meg’s face as she turned back to grab the toast that had just popped up. She began filling the plate that was in her hand with bacon, sausage and, the main course, the egg’n toast as I sat grabbed the orange juice from the fridge.
We sat down together and talked about Halloween that was coming in two days. I told her about the costume I was exited about making, although, I wasn’t making it until tomorrow. I like to play on Saturdays and work on Sundays usually. It’s like enjoying the weekend after a long week at school and then being able to still get something important done.
Sometimes I wish momma would take just one day off….
When we finished breakfast I started to help her clean up the dished, but just like every day Nanny Meg stopped me and told me to go wake up Max and to have fun. I hugged her quickly and rushed to far the broom, crossing through the living room to my play room that extended on of the house. I walked to the center of the room, broom in hand, ready to see Max.
I counted to three and started hitting the ceiling with the broom.
“Wake up Max! Wake up! It’s time to play!” I did this a few times until finally I heard him waking up.
Max never uses an alarm, he would never hear it. So, I get to be his alarm. I heard his feet hit his ground, my ceiling, as he got up and walked to his dresser. Like he did every morning, he changed into his play clothes and came down to play. I heard his drawers open as he grabbed the clothes he wanted to wear. Sock drawer. Close. Shirt drawer. Close. Pants drawer. Last drawer, close.
Once I heard him walk across the room, I knew he was grabbing his shoes from his closet, and we’d be able to start our day soon. I waited and waited, but I did not hear him move. Minutes started to click by in my head.
“Max?” I yelled up to him, “Are you done yet?” Nothing while I waited.
“Max?” I tried again. With still no answer, I continued, “Are you having a hard time picking out your shoes,” I paused, “Again?”
I opened my mouth to say something else, but before I could breathe in to form the words, he popped his head through the ceiling and was looking at me upside down with a slightly annoyed face.
“Can’t I have my time to choose which shoes I want to wear? I never complain to you when you are taking fifteen minutes to choose a sweater before we go walking, do I?”
I smiled at his last two words as he stretched them out, “No, I suppose to don’t.”
“Well, thank you,” he said still hanging upside down, although his face and hair not looking like he was, “Then please, let me choose. How can I with you yelling?”
Now I started laughing. He always had such a sarcastic tone to his voice at times.
I bowed very low, sweeping my right arm in front of me, “Please, Sir, don’t let me hold you up.”
He humphed at me as he, and his head, disappeared back into his room.
While I waited, I walked back to the kitchen to return the broom to it’s normal resting place in the garage. Nanny Meg was doing dishes, coffee pot in hand, as I walked by.
“Yup, we’re going to plan out my costume for tomorrow when I get to put it together,” I answered as I closed the garage door and locked it.
“Well, I promise to have all the materials and old costumes from my grand kids tomorrow. You can go to town with your scissors, needle and thread.”
I was smiling ear to ear at the thinking about my costume, Halloween was my favorite after all. Max’s too.
What about Max? Is he what? No, why would you ask that? You saw him. Did he look that way to you?
I walked back into the playroom as Max was walking down from the corner of the ceiling at the left side of the room, down stairs made just for him. His body moving to the steps of his feet. He walked over the dressers of toys that lined that side of the room and ended his walk three feet right over the couch. Jumping down to the ground, he leaned against the couch arm.
“Well, what’s first for the day?”