My favorite time of day is 2pm.

If you were to come over then,  you would find me sitting in the front room in Leina’s old nursing chair.   The chair is angled toward the front window and affords me a perfect view down our cul-du-sac and across the street.  Right now, with the beautiful autumn weather, I’ll probably have the window raised up so the air will be fresh and breezy.  I’d have something in my hands: maybe my journal, a book I’m working my way through or my iPad.

Two o’clock means school is letting out soon.  I have about fifteen or twenty minutes to myself before the kids arrive home.  I can sit and rock in my chair, read or swish my pad, and glance out the window waiting to see my girls appear.  I love to watch them trudge up the street.  You can tell so much from how they arrive.  Sometimes, they are heads together, chattering and I know they are in a good mood.  More often, one is ahead of the other.  Grumpy and hot.  Tired and hungry.  The door bangs open, the dag starts to bark like crazy, and in a few heartbeats, the house is strewn with school stuff.  It’s actually a scientifically unexplained phenomenon.  They walk in the door and by some unknowable force their bodies explode.  Shoes in one spot; twisted dirty socks in another.  Backpacks dumped on the floor, half open, a trail of crumpled papers that probably need to be returned, litter the carpet.  Lunch boxes are dropped in the kitchen for cleaning and the kids begin moaning about how they are hot/starving/bummed/bored. The dog, still barking, dances around them demanding attention. My job is to try and restore order to the chaos.  Remind them to put away their shoes, where dirty socks belong, gather up forms and homework to hold until needed.  I shoo them from the fridge and take back the bag of cheetos they are trying to open and replace it with something “healthy”.  The dog gets her peanut butter smeared Kong, the kids apple slices or cheese sticks, and we all settle in the kitchen where I can listen to their daily update about what they did, who got their name on the board, what they learned.  By three, they have wandered off and I’m on the down hill slope the afternoon.  The whirlwind of music lesson, swim team practice, homework assignments, dinner and phone calls make the rest of the afternoon whiz by.

And so, I look forward to my two o’clock moment.  It’s only 15 or 20 minutes of calm before the storm but I relish it.  It’s my favorite time of the day.