I take it back. I’m not grateful.

carpool line

November 7, 2012: I expressed “gratitude” for the carpool line at J’s school.
I’m over that now.

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.


12 thoughts on “I take it back. I’m not grateful.

  1. I do not have children, but I live close to a elementary school and I wait and wait and wait while everyone who has children block the road and they have a policeman helping but it doesn’t help people like me who either coming home or leaving. And I DO Wait.

  2. This is exactly why we live right at a mile from our elementary school but choose to pay for our K boy to ride the bus. And when he gets mature enough, he’ll ride his bike or walk. Because me + drop off would = crazy me.

  3. This is why I made good use of the (awful, heel-killing, ankle-imperiling) parking lot and walked my kids in and out most days when we were at that school! We’ve done carpool at four schools now, and that one is…special.

  4. Kerri, my son used to go to the same school your sweet boy attends. Things were much different and more civilized back then(early 80s). I am sure that we were all just as much in a hurry and had things that we needed to do as parents these days do. I wonder why the carpool lines are no longer civilized. It is not just a problem at your son’s school so trust me I believe you completely. The same thing is happening with parent pickup at Catholic High School too (I hate it when I forget that it is time for school to be out when I try to whiz through that ‘shortcut’) those mothers will hurt you if you dare to try to drive down the street while they are double parked. Hall, Forest Heights, Williams, Holy Souls, Pulaski Heights and Brady are also all deadly and I am not even in the “blessed” carpool line. I am just a citizen trying to go about my duty.

    The only school that I cannot tell that there are carpool issues with is the Episcopal School down on Cantrell Road and that is because their grounds are so huge that the carpool lane doesn’t really interfere with daily life of the average driver on Cantrell. Bless them and the fact that they made good use of the old Wrape Lumber Yard. I won’t mention the destruction of historic homes because we are discussing carpool lines. 😉

    I am glad you are finding balance between mothering and working. I am thrilled for you that you have that option. Parenting is such a balancing act under any circumstances. I hope that you continue to maintain a happy medium.



  5. Ryder HATED that carpool line. She thinks there is more than one F-You mom. In fact, she may have once said that, “that friend of yours that says hello to me” was the only one she liked. So you had one ally. Sadly, she is gone.

  6. This is so funny, Kerri. I did pickup for 3 years and it’s a miracle no one was injured during that time. I still have photos of the perpetrators that annoyed me most. The worst cut in line at the last minute every.single.day. His vehicle had advertising for his local business. I somehow managed to take the high road and not go Tawonda on his arse. I think he and F-you Mom would make a nice couple.

  7. I taught middle school and junior high for twenty six years. I have seen those parents. You should try to have a parent/teacher conference with them. Same behavior. Frustrating indeed.

  8. Pingback: maybe it’s just me but… | Adventures in Juggling

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