It just does.
Yes, I am planning my curriculum and getting organized for the official "school year" for my home education routine for 3 of my children. Yes, I have been wanting to blog about my curriculum choices for about a year now. But how boring is that, when I can share the drama of my morning routine...That's much more interesting.
However, I DO have 2 girls that attend public school (long story). Safety is the utmost concern. I KNOW THIS NOW. I KNOW THIS FIRST HAND.
I have read Officer Buckle and Gloria a million times and I have practiced all of their safety tips, but not one of them holds a candle to the school drop off line.
It starts on a relaxing morning getting ready for the second day of school.
We pull out of the driveway, go tooling along the street, drive less than two miles in peace and harmony and then...we turn the corner and see it...
The drop off line...
I start shaking and my heart starts racing. I start making this strange audible noise that I don't usually make. My teenager in the passenger seat roots me on and keeps steady. No sudden moves. Can I do this??? Can I keep the flow of the cars, NOT make anyone wait in the line, NOT hit an unsuspecting child and parent in the cross walk? Is the helper going to come up to my van and open the door? How far do I actually pull up?
All the while, the drama on the OUTSIDE of the vehicle unfolds. But what is happening INSIDE the vehicle? Does my 3rd grader have a hold of her backpack and lunch? Is she prepared to exit the vehicle as SOON as the van comes to a stop? When do we say our goodbyes? What if her seatbelt gets stuck?
What if I run out of gas right there in the drop off line and hold everyone up for the entire school day?
OK so I'm new at this. Last fall, I began my experience with the school drop off line. One day, I made the cardinal mistake of letting my daughter get out of the side of the van that was opposite the school. UM, I'm never doing that again. I'm just never doing that again, ok? I don't want to talk about it.
This morning so much was happening. I have to process it all. I mean, my senses got overloaded. The crossing guard, the staff member on duty...oh wait the principal is opening car doors and greeting kids, too! "OK, get ready to get out of the van and walk calmly and in control into the school building." Here comes the principal to open our door. This is not a drill.
She cheerfully said good morning and told me the cookies were delicious that I made that we gave to her on Open House Night last week. I wasn't expecting this! Quick response....keep the line moving...don't make small talk! I said something like, "oh glad you liked them! It was a new recipe...lemon soft baked..."
I look up in front of the van and see a huge gap now in the line, HUGE!!!
I felt like such a rebel. I mean, I actually held up the line because the principal was talking to me! I could be famous! The staff member on drop off duty was so far away and I felt confident I would not get in trouble for holding up the line.
Here is the next problem, though. Elated joy (if that is even a thing) turned into palpable fear when I realized I HAVE to wait til my van door closes before putting the van in drive to get the heck out of there.
It is like it all happened in slow motion...goodbyes said, seatbelt unbuckled, grab the bookbag and lunch, get out of the van. waw waw waw (that is the slow mo noise...you just have to picture it, it's the best I can do, I'm in a hurry).
Then everything comes to a halting stop when I pushed the button for the sliding door to automatically close.
Phew. Just breathe.
Hurry up door, close, I'm just going to put it in drive and listen to the beeping. But I can't do that. They may all see that I am driving with the door partly open and causing more danger.
Wahooo! I made it through the line!
I'm not in the clear yet, though. I pull out of the drop off line and there is the crossing guard waving and waving me on. I mean, which direction am I even headed? Ignoring the stop sign stresses me out. I HAVE to obey her! Aw heck, I'm just going to go straight like a boss and then make up my mind later.
Well, another successful and safe drop off at the local public school.
All kidding aside, kudos to the staff and administration at my local elementary school for keeping the children safe and sound while they are away from their families all day. It all starts in the drop off line and by the way they treat the children at the beginning of the day, I can tell my 3rd grader is safe the WHOLE day.
Well, until 2:30 when I may endanger them in the School Pick Up line...
What are you rules for car riders at your school? Are they as vigilant about safety as they are here in Waynesboro? I hope so. It took me a while to get used to it, but when my sister, who is a public school counselor in another state, told me how impressed she was with school drop off and pick up of car riders and walkers, I began to understand more the importance of this procedure.