Going back to Seattle this morning. The Super Shuttle arrived on time, the five bags we brought out somehow turned into eight, stuffed to bursting. Got to the airport with only one complication: teenager lost his phone. OMG OMG OMG! He figured it was on the shuttle, and I rolled my eyes at him while handing him my phone to call his grandparents, who could call the shuttle company. A Minor Miracle occurred then, wherein it was discovered that our very shuttle, with our very same incredibly volleyball-shaped driver, pulled up to pick up more passengers. The Very Important Phone was indeed found, so now he can go back to talking to god-knows-who and taking weird random cell phone pictures.

This Labor Day flight is not completely full, and everyone seems sleepy and quiet. My ten-year-old is getting a cold, teen is drawing graffiti-type sketches, no doubt to mark up his new school, and the almost-1st grader is compulsively drawing hearts and her own name and flowers. I guess if she was drawing gruesome car crashes or slaughterhouses, then I should worry. Stupidly, I drank a cup of coffee plus a Venti Iced Latte before I got on the plane, so I have had to use the filthy plane potty twice already. I especially love wiping off other people’s pee from the seat, but I can hover like a champ with my Thighs of Steeeeeel. But, still. Eww.

Tomorrow school starts, so I have the exciting misery of filling out tons of paperwork, identical to the paperwork I fill out each and every damn year, writing out tuition checks, and going grocery shopping. This year, the school where the two youngest go have no hot lunch program so I have what I consider an extra pile of AM Hell in store: making school lunches. Whatever I seem to make, seems to get half-eaten or un-eaten, and I think on Fridays I might start to make the lunches and dump them immediately into the garbage. They really don’t need to take a ride and sit for hours, just go straight into the can, why not? Sometimes the entire lunchbox also gets tossed out at school. I would have them make their own lunches but it would just consist of marshmallows, uncooked Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, chocolate chips, and video games. I don’t need any more calls from the principal. That’s OK.

The only good part of the day to come still is that I will see our dog in a few hours. She goes to what is surely the country club of dog sitters – a kind English couple who have a beautiful home on Lake Washington with a big long grass lawn. She gets to take long walks, swim in the lake, sleep wherever she likes in the house, and gets treated with lots of love. If I were my dog, I would not want to come home again, but she always does, and is always so delighted to see us all. She will run around for a bit, all excited, take a huge slurp of cold water from her shiny silver bowl, then will go outside and nap in the cool dirt of the flower bed for the rest of the day. If only I could do the same.