Yes. I’m really going to write about the carpool line. It has me shaking my head in wonder, so I just have to do it.
The carpool line is a fascinating enigma at my children’s school. Let me start by saying that the design of the neighborhood, the street, and the parking/entrance doesn’t exactly lend itself to being pickup friendly. The neighborhood is designed so that there are very few homes that are in walking distance of the school, and it backs to a very busy street. Most families that go to this school live quite far from it. We are 2.4 miles from the school, to be exact. I know this because you have to live 2.5 miles or greater to ride the bus for free. As a result, many parents drive their children, and it results in a line that extends for blocks down one street.
I’m not a stay at home mom, and I am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend who picks up and takes my child to school every day except Friday. On Fridays, I do the driving. This morning I was waiting, as usual, in the long line of cars. The children were chatting in the back, I was thinking about my grocery list, and just moving slowly ahead in the line every 45 seconds or so.
Now I have read, many times over, posts on Facebook about the infamous carpool line. It’s usually some dad joking about how he’s getting ready to take on the carpool line and others wishing him good luck. Or my neighbor cussing about someone who cut her off in the carpool line. Or someone else venting about why people JUST CAN’T GET IT RIGHT?! Apparently, it is against the laws of Carpool Code of Conduct to turn left off of the main street that runs in front of the school. Instead, you should go one street up, four blocks over, and circle back so that you are turning right, into the parking lot and then up to the school entrance accordingly. I’m not kidding in even the slightest bit about this.
So here I am, sitting where I should be in the carpool line. I happen to notice this guy, who clearly has violated the cardinal rule of carpool pickup. He is sitting, looking at the line, as EIGHT (eight!) vehicles refuse to let him in.
What is wrong with these people? Yes, he should have gone the other way, like all the rest of us. Yes, it’s annoying that we have to wait in line and this guy just came careening on in like it was no big deal. But really, is it that big of a deal?
Who knows what his story is. Maybe he’s a grandpa from out of state who was taking his grandson to school that morning. Maybe it’s his daughter’s birthday and he stayed home from work this one day to take her to school? Maybe they just moved here, like I did a few years ago, and he’s just figuring it out. It’s not like there is some manual they hand out to people that says THIS IS HOW IT MUST BE DONE. EITHER FIGURE OUT HOW TO DRIVE THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD THE LONG WAY, OR ELSE. MUAAH HA HAAA.
I let him in. Of course. And then I was immediately worried about the backlash that would go viral on Facebook if any of my neighbors saw what I had just done. I actually expected to hear someone behind me honking angrily. That’s the kind of craziness that carpool line starts.
So that’s my kindness for the day. Which is ridiculous that doing that was even a kindness at all.
One other thing I just want to share because it was fantastic. After surviving the carpool line, Little One and I went to the grocery store. I was turning into the peanut butter/salad dressing aisle and I heard a voice say “Delores. Want to race?”
I looked over and it was a little old man, sitting in one of those riding grocery carts. He was probably in his late eighties, early nineties. He was grinning up at an equally elderly woman with a walker. She grinned right back at him and took off shuffling away. That was a beautiful sight this morning. I love when I get to witness wonderful moments like that. It makes my heart smile.
Have a wonderful day, my friends, and an even better weekend.