I love the quiet moments before school starts.  I love being able to hear the clock ticking and the pipes banging as the heat decides to turn on for the morning. 

On a regular morning, I come in around 7:40am.  The other speech therapists usually aren’t in yet, so I have the room to myself. Kids drift in from their various school districts and carpools, congregating in the hallway by their lockers.  They speak in hushed tones, sipping tea or hot chocolate, still half asleep. 

By the end of the day, these same drowsy teens will be bouncing off the walls, eager to burst out of classrooms a minute early.  They’ll be trapped in advisory, unwilling to even sit down, ready for the climactic final bell that signals their release back to the bus and carpool mayhem. 

But for now, it’s quiet.  It’s calm before the storm.  It’s a time for me to recollect the things I forgot to finish yesterday, to have a moment’s peace to check my e-mail before the insanity kicks in.  

I’m by no means a morning person.  When the 2-hour delay was called this morning, I was the first one to hit the couch, setting the oven timer for another hour of sleep.  I tossed my glasses on the coffee table, peeled off my shoes, and relished another hour of slumber.  After I’d finished scraping my car out of its icy casing, I left for work.  I took my time on the unpredictable roads, but still arrived before 9:30am.  School probably won’t start officially until 10:15am, but the kids are already trickling in, a little more alert than usual.  Still, I have my time, my alone time without the clawing and licking from the dogs at home, nor the pressures of the workday at school.  Yet.