My family and I drove to Alaska when I was 7 or 8. (Yes, you can do that… a story for another time.)

Along the way, we took in a few natural wonders, the geyser “Old Faithful” among them. I apparently insisted on calling it “Old Reliable,” which admittedly makes me chuckle. I now find myself longing to be referred to as reliable. Old… not so much.

But it’s unlikely. I’m habitually late. My preschooler and his friend have learned to run from the car to school, and that they’ll likely be “the caboose” — again — because we’re late. My extended family takes bets on when my family will arrive to holiday dinners, and my friends know to add a half-hour when I say I’ll be over at 10:00.

I like to blame it on my husband, but really I procrastinate of my own accord. Sometimes my tardiness is relatively legit: the baby sleeps late; the phone rings as I’m walking out the door; yeah, I can’t think of anything else right now. Usually, I just don’t have my, um, act together. I try to squeeze in 10 minutes of extra sleep, I can’t find my son’s socks, I let my son watch TV during breakfast so he’s moving in slow motion lest he miss.one.second of Higglytown Heroes. I can’t find my car keys, I have to get the diaper bag packed for the gym, my hair is sticking out funny and I need to run the straightening iron over just one little section.

In a perfect world, I would be prepared. Clothes would be laid out the night before. Diaper bag would be stocked. Our water bottles washed and maybe even filled. My keys would be in the cute little bowl on the counter, my cell phone would be charged. The kids would be well rested and cooperative.

And you know what would happen? I’d be so calm, cool and collected, I’d let my son have an extra five minutes of TV because, you know what? We have five minutes; what would we do if we were five minutes early? If nothing else, anyone who typically waits on us wouldn’t yet be ready.

And that would be inconsiderate of us, wouldn’t it?

I don’t intend to be inconsiderate. In my head I’m really dependable. But there’s a huge disparity between the two. I feel shame. So much more importantly, in four months it will no longer be about me. My son begins kindergarten, and there will be no more sauntering in after the bell. I have to ensure he’s prompt. Poor kid.

I’m hoping kindergarten will be the impetus to change my evil ways. This is my challenge, and I accept it… or I will, anyway. In a minute.

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