Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Problem Solved! Maybe...

I have been fretting for months. Not the economy, or war, or illness or famine or anything that is globally important and actually deserves to be fretted about. I'm not that deep.

It's the drop off lane.

The drop off lane has caused me great angst over the years, and this year, with my oldest heading off to high school, I was going to have to learn to navigate yet another parking lot. The worst one, because not all of the drivers there have my experience...and yet, they "own" the school. I'm a visitor.

To further complicate matters, there is construction at the school (a new performing arts center- let me brag on about our school embracing the arts another day). Because of this, the usual drop off system was blocked and the replacement one was sure to be a nightmare.

Recap: Three kids, three different schools, three different drop off lanes with three different sets of rules. One mom with her head about to explode.

After much discussion and debate the family came to a solution.

Bye Luke and Bekah! Have a nice day! Enjoy that bus!

This solution left me with my head intact, and only one kid to drive. Sure, he could take the bus, too, but I  kind of like our time together in the morning, and his school has a well monitored drop off lane. S'all good.

Or it will be tomorrow when we actually USE the drop off lane.

One time, when I was fretting out-loud about the drop off lane, my friend Beckett suggested that I walk him in. Avoid the lane!

So on the ride to school this morning I asked him, " Drop off lane or walk you in?"

"Can you walk me in today, I'm a little nervous, then drop me off the rest of the time?"

Sounded logical, so I agreed.

 And then regretted when I rounded the corner to the school. Apparently, this was the preferred method of most of the parents. The amply spaced parking lot was overflowing into a nearby field. It looked like Bieber was playing the lunchroom. Kids, parents all flocking en masse to the front doors.

"Buddy, look! There is no one in the drop off lane! We can zip in there..."

He didn't let me finish.

"GRASS! Off-roading in the mini-van! Wohoo!!!"

And I did, because I am a sucker for a clean cut 1st grader.

If it's been a long time since you dropped a kid off at elementary school, let me share something: On the first day of school there is a subset of parents who put the kid on the bus at home, then RACE to school to greet the same kid as he gets off the bus. The parent clicks a picture of the dazed child emerging from the bus to see the same people he left  half an hour ago.

I'm not going to poke fun at these parents...and not because I recognized a few friends in the mix...ok, exactly for that reason. I will just say, I don't quite understand it, but if it works for them- brava! I'm sure these friends will fill me in on the why they do this. It just seems kinda Helicopter Parent- In-Training to me. But hey, I do a lot of stuff that leaves them scratching their heads, so let's go back to "whatever works."

Noah and I parked (almost back at our house), made the trek through the field, past the dog poop, past the playground, and up the sidewalk. I gave him a kiss (and he kissed me back because he hasn't been told it's not cool ,yet), " Go! Learn something!"

And he was gone. Into first grade.

And I trekked back to the car, alone. Smiling. It was a long trek, so I probably looked a little crazy smiling the whole time, but the kids were back in class. I had a long walk to think about the kitchen that will remain clean until dinner. The lack of television aimed at kids. The absence of arguments about their activity choices and neglected chores. It has been a long, fairly boring summer at our house. School never looked so good to any of us.

I thought about all of that, and still wasn't at my car.

Stopped for a breath at the halfway point. I can see the car...

And now I am home, like a lot of other parents, sharing pictures of our kids headed off to the first day of school in the new year. Pictures that show them freshly scrubbed, wearing the outfits that showoff the best of their personalities. Snapshots that capture nerves and excitement and the dread of having mom snap a picture of them, again, in the same spot she has snapped pictures at the beginning of every school year.

Have an amazing school year, kids! Go! Learn something!

1 comment:

  1. Your girly looks so fashionable! And the boys, what cuties! :)

    The drop off lane saga was a great story! :)


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