Saturday, May 22, 2010

Turn Dammit!

My day may start like many of yours–preparing for my day, rallying kids, transporting kids, personal duties, then off to my job.

I find in my “school bus” duties, with occupancy of two, (not including myself) I am often concerned with the scheduled departure to make sure the morning’s routine has a predictable flow that is not impeded by mishap. Once I drop off the kids, then my duties begin. Also, and most importantly, I have many obstacles that stand between me, and the safe transport of my precious cargo.

I live about 10 houses down from the street that flanks the school. I stop at the light, turn left, go about a hundred yards, another light; then turn right. We are at the “stop-drop-and-go.” However, my kids like to park and have their own personal escort (me) take them to class. I concede to their request. I am not alone.

The mornings are often a brief social gathering of parents of the young students, chatting idly as the kids run around the play areas and sidewalks. Many pleasantries are exchanged. It is a chaotic, yet inviting atmosphere that makes me feel blessed that my kids are getting their elementary education from this institution.

The downside–

If you choose not to do the “stop-drop-and-go”, you must turn right at the next light, and find one of the limited parking spaces on the street that run the length of the block. I do not ever park in the handicapped spots. I find it difficult to watch parents of healthy children, being healthy themselves as well; choose that they are exempt from not only public law, yet moral compass to allow them justification to do so. The redneck in me often has vigilante visions as I often watch others park “in the good spots,” while I explain to my six-year-old, in censored tongue, why some people choose to, and we do not. Karma people, just remember karma.

The front row spots are precious real estate. Heaven forbid we have to walk 100 feet more from the “lesser” spots. Who wants to walk with our kids past a playground and friends a few feet longer? That must be torture!

In our mornings’ preparation for departure, I have developed a pretty good routine. Leaving at 7:50 every day allows us plenty of time to not only venture to school, but allow us high probability for securing good parking. Yes, one of the front row spots. Heaven help the person or circumstance that makes me park across the street! My kids know this. They escalate their routines into a final departure flurry that could only appear to the neighbors that we found a ticking bomb and must leave immediately to escape annihilation. We back out of the drive, quickly but not fast enough to spill the Sunny D.

Down the street, 10 houses–check! Light approaching, still green. Don’t you dare turn yellow – I know there can only be one spot left. I know someone is going to take it. I know we will be late! I know this friggin’ light will turn yellow or red before I get there. It doesn’t. We’re good.

We turn in time. Next light approaching. The traffic starts to become constipated with the people choosing the drop-and-go alternative. “C’mon people! Move up! You know the rules! Pull to the flippin’ front of the line then stop and let your kids out! Don’t stop short of the end simply because junior doesn’t want to walk a few extra feet! Tell the wuss to take it like a man! Don’t you know the universe is about to swallow my attempts at great parking?!” They move–we’re good.

Another light; the final barrier. People crossing the street...grrr! Uh, oh. The light is changing! THE LIGHT IS CHANGING! TURN DAMMIT! How will I survive not getting the perfect spot?! I KNOW that there will be no spots left. I know we are going to get totally screwed! (Sometimes it is the things we “know” that show our true ignorance.)They turn, so do we.

“See kids?” Because we were late, all the good spots are ta...

"There's a spot Daddy!"

A car pulls out.

We always get a spot. Always.

"Daddy, why do we have to leave so early?"

“Because your father is an idiot.”


margg. said...

haha :)
this made my day.

Duane Scott said...

Ha... this is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh, Tony. You're a good guy regardless.

Marika utomjording(extraterrestre, alien) said...

I walk my kids to school...we only have to do slalom around dog poos.
I hurry up too...
This was a really funny post!

Timberwolf123 said...

Don't forget to breathe!! =D I think we all get into patterns in our life & we create stress in our life that isn't really there.

Great story as always, my friend.



Stefanie said...

Ha, this sure hit a note with me! I tell myself every morning not to have the morning routine turn to a stressful no-fun thing...sometimes it works, sometimes not-so-much. It's so nice to be reminded that we all go through it.

Stefanie said...

And a biggie--stop and breathe before driving. I've caught myself letting the rush into my driving and I don't think it's a good thing when the kiddos think they are on a ride while they are in the back seat saying "woo-hoo, we're going FAST, weeeeee!"