This could be a series. Maybe it will be.

Installment One:

There’s this story I’ve told often enough, in different contexts, but always with the same indignant ending. When we were in high school, mom had a rule. On Saturday mornings, we had to be up and cleaning by 9 a.m. “I’ve been up since 6 a.m. while the three of you have been sleeping,” she’d say.Often she’d simply send our dog, Katie, to wake us up. Katie loved waking us up. She’d bound in and leap onto the bed and lick my face. She would not leave till I was out of bed and stumbling into the kitchen to make some tea, caffeine required.

So that’s the story, and the indignant ending is that my mother loved to deprive us of sleep. She didn’t understand teenagers and our supreme need for ZZZs.And yet.

I was re-telling this story to Kate on Friday night as I teased her about the next morning. “See you at 6 a.m.,” I said. She laughed. I told her how my evil mother used to make us get up at nine on Saturdays.

And it hit me, suddenly, that I am my mother. Because now I’m the one who gets up at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and starts loads of laundry, plans menus and makes a grocery list for the week, logs our finances in Mint, pays out allowances and bills and sorts school papers and does more laundry and wait a minute, it’s already 9 a.m. and I’ve been working for three hours while….

The difference is that 2/3 of my kids are also up at 6 a.m. They’re just not working. The other 1/3 usually rolls out of bed around 8, but I suspect once she officially hits the teen years next month that time will get later and later.

You see where this story should head. All we need now? A dog to send into their rooms to lick them silly until they emerge, ready to get some housework done.

Oh, hello, Ollie.

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