Last year, during November, I tried an experiment to express in photo form gratitude for the blessings of my life. Each day, I took a photo of “something” to represent that for which I was grateful.
I would now like to retract the November 7 entry.
At the time, I declared I was grateful for carpool because it meant that I got pick up my son from school rather than send him to aftercare. Carpool represented an investment in him: of time and resources.
It was a big change in the priorities of my life. I no longer was a mom who fit her son into her work schedule. I was a mom who tried to fit work into her son’s schedule.
Now don’t start writing tacky comments. Lots of women prioritize their children and still work full-time. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying I didn’t do it. Or at least not well.
It’s no secret to my friends and family this was not an easy transition. I had some ego-busting failures trying to make this new plan work. It wasn’t pretty.
Fortunately, I come from resilient stock…or fools who can’t take a hint. There’s a fine line. Either way, I took my lumps and kept trying until I think I’ve finally got a situation that works for freelance writing and mothering. But let’s be serious, some days it’s still not pretty.
Most of the ugly days include some kind of carpool episode. I do not know what it is about dropping off and picking up children at school that causes otherwise intelligent people to go stupid, but I’ve never seen anything like it.
Blue Durango kills me. Kills.me. This is our fourth year at this school. Blue Durango has been there the entire time. Blue Durango still thinks there’s a passing lane in carpool. There isn’t. It’s just two lines: move forward; drop off or pick up. There’s no switching lanes. Stop it.
My second favorite is Oblivious Dad. He has a precious child. She’s so precious that he must take her out of the car and walk her inside every day. We have that option. It’s called the parking lot. Park your car in a lot conveniently marked for just such an exercise. But Oblivious Dad doesn’t make use of the parking lot. Oblivious Dad uses the carpool lanes. He also leaves all the doors open while he walks Precious Child into the school. So if you have great fortune of pulling in while Oblivious Dad is in the middle of the seven-minute park and walk, BOTH lanes are blocked because of his open car doors.
Then there’s F-you mom. F-you mom is specialer than everyone else. So special that she doesn’t need to use the carpool line or the parking lot. F-you mom just stops in the middle of the street in front of the school and yells at her kids to get out. All traffic is now stopped on the road while they gather their backpacks and unload. You would think that they would be prepared for this and make a quick exit from the vehicle, but they never are. Every morning they are shocked, SHOCKED that F-you mom is dumping them out again in the middle of the street.
So if you’re keeping up here, on the days when Oblivious Dad and F-you mom arrive around the same time, everything grinds to a halt. Which really is not a problem at all, because no one else in these lines needs to get to work or appointments or has anything better to do than to sit around and wait for the very special people to deposit their kids.
When you consider the general jackassery displayed by these and so.many.other. parents, it’s startling how few rage crimes are committed on school campuses.
So I take it back. I am no longer grateful for carpool. It’s just a necessary evil in my life. I’m still glad I get to spend more time with my son. That’s been pretty great…for both of us.
But carpool… carpool can bite me.