Carpool is terrible.
That’s right. I’m writing a blog post about carpool. The people of this world who are doing real things, like anything related to accounting, delivering babies, or the Ebola virus, are entitled to roll their eyes. A friend of mine from high school (Hi, Genya Dana!) has a PhD and is now a Senior Science Policy Officer at the U.S Department of State. She sometimes reads my blog, and if she reads this post I would expect her to roll her eyes. I’m totally fine with it. I would too.
But … silly as it is, this is my life. Right now my world is wrapped up in figuring out the public school system and potty-training my middle child, and those two things pretty much leave me spent by the end of the day. It’s a damn good thing I’m not working at the Center for Disease Control or the U.S. Department of State. Just the thought of it makes me panicky; the stress of it all would render me asleep under my desk by noon.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I had all these ideas of what certain mom-like things would be like. Carpool was one mom task I figured I’d be doing eventually. It sounds so fancy: carpool. You hear of parents sitting in the carpool line, and I never quite got a grasp on how horrible it really is. After three days of waiting for 30 minutes, twice a day, in an ass-long line of cars with small children screaming from the backseat, I mentioned to Maverick that maybe he could ride the bus.
The bus!!!!!! His eyes lit up with excitement. Desperation eroded whatever worries I had about putting my 5-year-old on a big yellow school bus, and on Monday morning I got us all dressed and began the long walk to the end of our street. We stood at the busy corner and we waited. Not ones to waste time, Maverick and Asher spent the longest 8 minutes of my life throwing pine cones, sticks, and rocks at cars (NO!), into the street (again, NO!), at houses (NO!), and at each other (NO!). They then proceeded to stand in ant hills, peel bark off pine trees and dig holes in someone’s yard, all while I tried to stop them and keep the baby out of harm’s way and smile and wave to the people who drove by as if all was well, so they would not notice that I was completely losing my mind.
And then, the bus arrived. The driver took one look at us and asked which house we live in. When I told her, she said “I’ll stop in front of your house from now on — it’s much safer there.” And I thanked her for making my life exponentially easier as I tried to keep Asher from boarding the bus behind his brother.
I planned to get a picture of Maverick as he climbed into the school bus for the first time, but it was too late. As I was talking to the driver, he found a window seat and waved excitedly as they pulled away and Asher sobbed.
At 3:40 that afternoon, the bus came back and deposited my child, as if by magic. He’s been taught and fed two meals — breakfast and lunch — and transported to and from our home without me doing anything except getting him out the door. Public school is the bomb, y’all. So far I am completely a fan, definitely the mom who goes overboard with appreciation to everyone who plays a part in my son’s education because I CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT THEIR HELP.
So THANK YOU, Mrs. L the bus driver. I would have hugged you, but you said you had to go.