Cue the misty fade, as we look into the future...

Thursday afternoon (my Friday, since I've got tomorrow off). I wake up fairly early (for me), roll out of bed, shedding my nightgown as I stumble around the darkened bedroom. Although I'd love to stay snuggled up against the warm form of my sleeping husband, there are five miles of road calling my name and I know that I must answer their call.

After pulling on my running tights, jog bra, loose fitting t-shirt, socks, and my trusty Brooks running shoes, I tiptoe down the hallway, opening the doors to my sleeping children's rooms, knowing that, all too soon, they'll be up and ready for breakfast, so I cannot tarry to watch them sleep. I slip out the front door, take a deep breath of the cold morning air, and start to stretch.

An hour later, I'm home just in time to hear the dulcet tones of my oldest child asking, "what's for breakfast, Mommy?" I somehow navigate around the Tonka construction site that has sprung up in the hallway, get to the kitchen, and start pulling the boxes of cereal down from the top shelf. "You can have whichever "Chex" you'd like, Sweetheart," I say, sweetly, knowing she'd rather have "Frosty Flakes" or one of those other sugary cereals she gets at her grandparents' house, and determined that my children will not go to school on a huge sugar rush like their classmates. I also pop two slices of whole wheat toast into the toaster while the tub of lowfat, whipped cream cheese waits on the countertop. "Do you want some sliced strawberries?" I ask my little cherubs, busily pouring their chosen cereals. "Uh huh" and "yummy" are my answers, so I get out the little green carton, give it a good rinse, and start slicing. I put a bowl full on the table, then measure out a cup for myself.

It's at this point that a creature most closely resembling a grizzly bear just after it's woken up from its winter hibernation enters the kitchen. It's my beloved husband, in search of a cold soda and a kiss. He hopes to slip in and out unnoticed by the restless natives, but he's just not that lucky. The kids spot him and jump to their feet. "Daddy, daddy, daddy!" they cry, as they both try to hang off of his arms. "Let Daddy sit down and drink his soda," I say, fruitlessly, as he walks, with a child attached to each arm, to his chair in the dining room and sits down. I am amazed that he is able to fit both a four and two year old on his lap while still managing to drink his soda without spilling. My toast ready, I sit down at the table, too. "Sophie and Jack, sit down and finish your breakfast. Let Daddy have some peace," I say, and, this time, they reluctantly do as I ask. Breakfast is eaten, dishes are piled in the sink, and the kids head upstairs to get ready for school, leaving Chris and I in the kitchen together. I put dishes in the dishwasher as he puts all of the cereal back in the cupboard.

After I've managed a quick shower, it's off to my parents' house, to drop the kids off with Mom. I'm so lucky that I have parents that live close enough to be able to take care of my kids for me. I can't imagine being able to work if I knew I had to drop my kids off with strangers every day. Once the kids are happily playing in the backyard, it's off to work I go.

The interstate is crowded, so I slide in the latest Sheryl Crow CD and sing along, loudly. I slide my trusty Civic into my designated parking space, grab my briefcase and purse, and head to the elevators. The receptionist greets me as I walk through the frosted glass doors of City Hall, "Good morning, Mrs. G. Your meeting with the mayor has been moved up to 10:30, and the deputy mayor's office wants to talk about tomorrow's press confernece." Such is the life of the Special Assistant to the Mayor of one of the fastest growing cities in the south.

To quote John Lennon, "you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."


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