My alarm went off at 5 like it did every morning. After a quick jog around the loop of the neighborhood and a lightning-quick shower, I sat down to coffee and the newspaper in the kitchen at 5:50. Neither Ben nor Morgan was up yet, so it was generally quiet.
Morgan was home from college on fall break, and Ben was still a junior in high school. I found out the hard way that Ben wasn’t a morning person, and he hadn’t been one since kindergarten. It was a bear to get him out of bed, and I had to leave for work before he got up, so I went up the stairs and into his room. He was facedown in his pillow, mumbling slightly. I shook his shoulder. He turned his head and opened a bleary hazel eye. He had the same eye and hair color as I did, but he was his mother over again in a teenage male form. “Hmm…” he mumbled.
“Don’t forget to get up, Ben. You can’t be late again, or you’ll get suspended. You can take Morgan’s car. I’ll see you later, okay?” I leaned over and patted him on the head. He groaned loudly. I stepped out of the room and down the hall to Morgan’s room. I knocked on the door. I already heard her moving around inside. In extreme contrast to Ben, she always got up early. She claimed she got more out of the day when she got up before 6:30. “Morgan,” I said through the door. She opened the door and poked her head out. I could see that she was already fully dressed and showered.
“Hey, Dad,” said Morgan. “What’s up?” I kissed her on the forehead.
“Nothing,” I said. “Just wanted to say good morning before I left. Make sure Ben gets up, okay?”
“I’m up,” moaned Ben as he shuffled across the hall to the bathroom. “Stop talking about me.” The door slammed behind him. I turned back to Morgan. She wore an amused expression on her face.
“I’m surprised you were able to actually get him out of bed. What, did you bribe him?” I smiled.
“I can be very persuasive sometimes. I have to go, so I’ll see you two later, okay?” I kissed her on the forehead and went on down the hall. I took my keys from the wooden dish in the kitchen, slid into my jacket, and headed into the garage to my car.
As I backed out of the garage, I thought that perhaps it would be an especially good day. Hell, I had even gotten Ben out of bed, and that alone was an accomplishment. Yes, the day would be great. I knew it.
Ugh, the morning. The morning could go dig itself a hole and crawl into it, for all I cared. The worst part of the day was the morning, but once I got over that it wasn’t too bad. I tossed on an old t-shirt, threw a button-down over the top, and grabbed my jacket. “Are you wearing that again? Very fashion forward, Ben.” I rolled my eyes at Morgan, who smirked mischievously.
“Leave me be, Morgan. I don’t exactly have the time to put special thought towards all my outfits,” I paused. “Wait, did I really just call them outfits? I meant ensembles.” I marched off down the stairs and into the kitchen. I hoped she knew I was taking her car to school.