Race day

She knocks on the door just after 5am and I’m jarred awake. Groggily, I process the darkness of my room. There were no dreams startled to their end this morning. “I’m up… I’m coming.” 

She’s gone downstairs. The salty, buttery smell of her bagel in the toaster oven sets my stomach into conversation .  She’s made only one, and it’s time to get on the road if she’s to make it to the bus on time. She’s in her eeyore jammies, hair tied in another of my scarves she forgot to ask to borrow. She’s packed her notebooks and binders into a bag, her cross country gear into a duffle.  She looks tired, but she’s ready. 

We belt out tunes as we drive the empty highway. The school looms ahead, eerily dark. Several idling cars are already waiting behind the building, defiantly parked in the “pool guests only spots. XCT bus is late when we arrive. She sits quietly, hyping herself for the first race of her season. 

And then, as the darkness is broken by the flickering, turning yellow light of #10, she gathers her gear and bounds away.  Good run, baby girl.

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