Daylight seeped through the windows quickly and fiercely. The benefactor, despite getting more than her usual 6 hours of shut eye, felt groggy from being awakened at 0400 by the younger male, who entered her room to rouse her and pronounce his throat was sore, then left and returned to sleep, leaving the benefactor to unsuccessfully resettle.
The children were not entirely enthused to be returning to their educational stomping ground, and dragged their feet to dress. Both pronounced they did not wish to eat, but the benefactor insisted on some form of nourishment. They became excited when they saw prepared waffle warmed in a mechanical heat machine in the icebox. After heating them, and embellishing with butter, the waffles were handed off, where the youngest female promptly complained because a.) there was a flavor of blueberry, clearly etched on the box, which she is now capable of reading and b.) there was butter, which she admonished did not mingle with the flavor of the blueberries. The male child, with as much solidarity as he could muster, merely shrugged and ate in silence as the female threw darts with her eyes during every bite.
Finally, afternoon meals gathered, rucksacks collected, and materials readied, the benefactor and children ventured to their school. Walking them in, she asked for an obligatory snapshot to commemorate their advancements into first and fifth grade. Bulking, they finally posed and granted the benefactor her meager wish. Inside, the male immediately wandered off to his classroom, while the benefactor walked the female to hers. Inside, the first to arrive, she settled at her desk, a bundle of anxiety and excitement. She blew the benefactor a kiss and promptly booted her. Wishing to say one more goodbye, the benefactor made her way to the class of the male child, who sat scribbling his name in cursive for his desk tag. He gave a reluctant, backwards half hug and then shooed her away.
The benefactor left the building feeling the immense tug and pull of rearing progeny: the excitement of watching them unfold, yet knowing they must age and mature to do so. A wave of nostalgia and pride wove its way across her chest and enveloped her heart, holding it tight.
Later in the evening, as the benefactor was engaged in educating future parents, the elder male reached out to inquire when her task would be complete. After several exchanges, the benefactor discovered that the elder male, for the second time this week, had managed to lock himself out of their abode. Unable to leave, he was forced to call a local companion and have her transport him to her home until the benefactor finished and could swoop him up. The benefactor was less than thrilled to have to go out of her way after a grueling day of drudgery, but also felt gratitude that he had a place of safety to which he could turn.