Friday, September 7, 2012

Drop 'Em and Move Along

You know when you're dropping your kids off to school in the morning?

Particularly when dropping off younger children to kindergarten, there's that special moment when you share high fives and words of encouragement. Maybe they need you to open the door for them and you steal one last hug before sending them on their way into the building for the day. It's one of those occasions when you realize you are standing in the middle of a precious memory. You want it to last forever. You wave them off as they scamper away, only to have the moment tainted by some impatient clock-watcher honking his horn and gesticulating wildly at you from inside his Honda minivan.

That clock-watcher is me.

I have three kids, the youngest of which will complete their elementary-level education experience at the end of the current school year. I understand what you people with younger kids are going through, but you really must find a way to understand that I don't care.

While you're standing outside your car trying desparately to cope with the fact your children have graduated from bouncy seats and diapers to backpacks and packed lunches, there's a line of cars three miles long choking the public streets for six blocks in every direction thanks to the fifteen-minute unloading ritual you've chosen to perform.

Take it from me, your kids will be fine. Stop the small talk, kick them out of your Explorer, and keep the line moving. There are things the rest of us would rather be doing.

Like showering. I'm a big fan of showering, especially on mornings when I'm sweaty from the 5:30am cycling class and smell like a combination of dirty socks, vinegar and garlic (or, as Our Daughter calls it, "old man funk"). I also enjoy eating breakfast, brushing my teeth, wearing clean clothes, going to the bathroom, and starting my workday, each of which now has to wait because your peripheral vision is so impaired you couldn't see the angry glares of every driver in line behind you.
And here's a helpful tip. Get your kid's stuff packed up before you leave for school.

School happens almost every weekday between September and June. The local school system hands out calendars -- free ones! -- so you can find out in advance on what days there will be school. You had days, weeks, possibly even months to prepare for this morning's drop off. So why, then, is your kid juggling loose school supplies and papers like his backpack just vomited?

Please, we don't want to hate you. You seem like a nice lady, and you clearly love your children, as evidenced by the fifth pat on the head you've given your son and the twelfth hug you've given your daughter. But for the love of all that's holy, drop 'em off and move along. I promise, they won't look any different when you pick them up seven hours from now.

© 2012 Mark Feggeler

1 comment:

  1. And--if we're being honest here, and we should be--some of those kids are embarrassed by the fawning and slobbering and patting and petting and baby-talk good-byes from their parents.

    Slow down a little, pop the door open, give them a shove with your foot, and head out...