If you want to test your patience, get in the carpool line at my children's elementary school. I am really trying hard to do the right thing, but sometimes it can be difficult. As I have stated before, the school is at a new location because they are tearing down the old school and building a new one. So for the next year-and-a-half, the school is a "portable school"- made up of portable buildings connected by covered walkways. The problem is not the school. The kids are happy and love it. All of the wonderful teachers and administration are the same. But the after school pick-up is chaos city. And I knew it would be. The first day, I got there an hour early and sat in the hot car, windows rolled down, sweat dripping all over my body. I had been there about fifteen minutes when the maintenance guy walked to the post where the sign was and started unscrewing the bolts.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Moving the sign back some. I didn't think you all would start getting here so early."
So he took the sign for K-1 pick-up and moved it back. I couldn't back up because cars were behind me, so I decided I would just get out of the car when the kids started coming out (Katie and Andrew have to go to the K-1 line because they won't let the little ones go to the big kid line anymore). After I had retrieved all of the kids, we were able to make a quick and easy exit and get home in no time. From what I hear, some people didn't get home for a whole hour due to the heavy traffic. So the second day, I arrived at the school an hour early again, but this time they had changed the order of where we were to pick up the kids. When I drove to where the sign had been moved to the day before, it said 2-5 grade pick-up. I kept on driving to the other side until I found the K-1 line. Again, I was first in line. I worked my crossword puzzle and then read. This time I was prepared. I had my hair in a ponytail and lots of water. Opening the doors makes for a nice breeze throughout the van, I discovered. I was enjoying some quiet, peaceful time. Until the cars started cutting in front of me. It took all I had not to get out of my car and say something, but I stayed in my car staring in amazement. Then, parents started forming a line to the right of me. I was penned in. I took some deep breaths and remained calm. I knew I couldn't change anything, but boy did I want to! I reminded myself that I was there for the kids and waited patiently. Again, we got home in record time. Today was a little better- nobody cut in front of me (I pulled up a little closer). Plus, the kids started coming out ten minutes early so we actually got home at the regular dismissal time. The thoughts of sitting in my car for a whole hour every day this year are overwhelming to me, but one day at a time, I can do it. Wish me luck!