After three long weeks of school vacation followed by bitter cold and another week of snow days, I awoke this morning giddy. I skipped out and flipped on the TV. The scroll at the bottom of the news, the place we had looked first each day for the previous week was different. Instead of school cancellations I saw stock prices. And then I saw news headlines. YES!! School is back in session!! Elated I packed lunches and took Beks to school.
In our little town, the Elementary School, Middle School and High School share a campus. A service road, with two major road accesses, connects all three schools. Each school has a bus lane and a drop off lane. The rule is that cars do not belong in the bus lane. Sure , it takes a few minutes in traffic to follow the rules and drop your student off in the car drop off lane, But the rules are there for a reason: safety.
I know that our school drop off situation is similar to other schools. And I know my frustration of people who think the rules do not apply to them is shared by many. The problem that I mostly have is the safety factor. High school students ( and yes, some parents) who feel that the rules are for others and drop their students off in, or at the entrance to, the bus lane. Sometimes I blow my horn , sometimes I just catch the drivers eye and make a " naughty!" face". Mostly I just rant to Beks. She rolls her eyes, often laughs but mostly she knows me and rolls with it.
Today, however, I saw a parent and a high school student, two cars, pulled off to drop middle school students off by the bus lane. The road was icy and slick. I had enough. The accidents that I had imagined for the past two years were highly probable today. We all had been out of practice with our school week routines, and the road conditions made for a situation that inexperienced drivers never could prepare for. There was no cars behind me, so I stopped, got the high school students attention and signaled for him to roll down his window as I rolled down Beks's.The parent in the other car was already cutting in front of me to make an illegal U-turn, I could only honk at her.
As the kid rolled down his window I realized I knew him. His sister, getting out of the car, had been in Beks class before. Heck, I think she had even played at our house before. His parents are acquaintances of mine who I really adore. I know this kid to be kind and sweet and funny-- a good kid. But it was too late, I couldn't turn back or say " hey, Jacob! Say hi to your mom for me". No, I had to tell him that was not the drop off lane.
I wish it could have been a kid I didn't know. I wish it could have been one of the kids who stops in the middle of the road and really causes a hazardous situation. But poor Ethan got two years worth of memories of those kids in my comments. I didn't yell, but it may have been more anger than he was used to ( his parents are VERY sweet). He said " ok" , but I'm sure the unsaid part was " you crazy lady".
Then, from my passenger seat, Beks said very loudly " Please excuse my mom!" uuuugggh. I just committed a huge middle school social faux pas. My stomach dropped and I apologized to her as we drove on to the drop off lane. She said it was ok, but if I was here I wouldn't have. She got out and said to me what I normally would have said to her " have a marvelous Monday!" Commence Internal Self Abuse!
An hour later, I was backing out of our driveway to take Noah to school. Thanks to illness and really cold weather that kid had literally been home for three weeks. He NEEDED to spend time with kids his own age. He needed to go to school even more than I needed him to. As I was backing out of the driveway I backed straight into the 4 foot pile of snow and ice at the end of it. I got stuck.
I would like to say that I calmly dug us out. But calm was nowhere to be seen. " Are you KIDDING ME!!!??" I muttered as I went to get the snow shovel and deicer out of the garage. Then I accidentally dropped the bucket of deicer IN the garage and hauled out the motherload of curses. My 4 yr old , still strapped in his carseat then heard words that he should never hear. He heard combinations of curses that I never would have imagined could go together, and yet were flying out of my mouth.
Fifteen minutes later I finally got on the road. Huffing and puffing from my workout, I spent the drive to school apologizing to him for what he heard, telling him that is not the best way to handle stress, and pleading for him not to EVER use those words.
In this brief morning that should have been filled with giddy bliss I embarrassed my 13 yr old, taught my 4 yr old creative cussin' and gave myself the Mother of all Guilt trips. And we all know no one does guilt like a Mom.