It was the best of times…
It was the worst of times…
It was high school
I loved going back to school. Buying school supplies. Setting up my backpack with notebooks, pens and pencils.
“I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils, if I knew your address…”
Joe Fox, “You’ve Got Mail.”
The first of day school no matter what the grade sets the tone for the entire school year experience. But this, this was big, Daisy and Dewey were starting high school. I felt it was up to me to make this transition into the unknown as positive, as calming and as easy as possible to assure their first day would set the precedence for this brave new world.
For Daisy and Dewey life as they have known it from now on will cease to exist. A new school that is three times the size of their middle school. The level of stress building up to this day was palatable.
I too was excited to sign up for the car pool. An age old tradition where parents can get all the dirt because apparently you become invisible when you are behind the wheel of a car. I was assigned the morning pick up, based on the fact that we live the farthest away so it made geographic sense. Like being the first leg of a relay race. A huge responsibility but I was up for the task. And yet… in my defense I thought they had learned something by not to let me bring appetizers to a party.
The night before we were in bed early. We all played Yo-Yo Ma on our phones, and chanted while we drifted off for a calming rest… calmly except me.
I’d been fighting a sinus infection and I wanted to be fresh, clear headed in the morning so under the advisement of my friends I took a nighttime Benadryl.
The morning sun danced across by pillow. WAIT! WHAT?! The morning sun? What is that loud buzzer? The alarm! How long had that been going off! It was 7:00.
“EVERYBODY UP!! We have to be out of here in 10 minutes.”
I wobbled out of bed suffering from a Benadryl hangover, my head was a fish bowl. I was trying to move fast and with purpose but instead I was trapped in a slow-motion segment of a horror film.
I stumbled downstairs only to find out the war against the ants in my kitchen had escalated. They had united all the local any colonies and had created a full-on assault. They were covering everything including backpacks and binders. Before any of the children could find out I sprayed them down with DDT.
No time to brew that much needed pot of coffee to roust me out of my fog, I grabbed a handful of coffee beans and start chewing on them. A new method I’ll brew and chew
“Mom! There’s a dead rat in my room!” Daisy screamed.
“Just step over it, the cat left you a back to school gift.”
I started throwing anything into brown paper lunch bags, leftovers from Cheesecake Factory a week ago, Cheerios in a baggy, old bananas.
The moms are texting, “Where are you?”
“Where’s my shoe.”
“Just grab anything, they don’t necessarily have to match. Make your own fashion statement.”
“Get in the car we’re already 15 minutes late.”
“Look the bear got in the trash.” Dewey pointed.
“It’s a free for all around here!”
Full speed ahead. I burned rubber in my Honda SUV pulling out of my driveway.
Lovely older couples out for a morning walk didn’t realize they have taking their lives into their own hands! “Good for you! Exercise is key! Now get the hell out of my way!”
I slammed on the breaks and picked up kid number one waiting on the curb. His dad suggested maybe he can take in the mornings.
“No, No I’ve got this, were good.”
I zoomed down the street. Sparks flew as I hurdled over the speed bumps.
I was driving 60 in a 25 zone.
I swerved around the sweet innocent neighborhood elementary school kids going on their first day of school with their moms and dads like a video game.
“Out of my way!” Honking the horn.
I picked up kid number 2 barely slowing down to 10 mph. Before she could shut the door I took off again.
“You guys ready for a great first day of school?” I asked coughing up a piece of coffee bean.
“Mom, I can’t fix my straps on my overalls, it’s getting longer not shorter.” Daisy moaned.
Driving with my knees I reached over and started to unlock the strap holder and pulled them tight. Which brings me to the “distracted driver law.” Seriously? Eating? Makeup? Nails? Why put a fast food restaurant on every corner? I digress.
Like Danica Patrick I’m weaving in and out of traffic on the boulevard. Waiting at the red light the goal is in sight. Maybe I should just run the light.
“Mrs. Freiberger, don’t take this the wrong way but you could be a get-away driver.”
“Thank you honey, that’s so sweet.”
The light changes and I put the pedal to the metal, only to screech to an abrupt stop curb side.
“OK EVERYBODY TAKE A DEEP BREATH IT’S GONNA BE A GREAT DAY! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!”
With minutes to spare… a little hustle in their bustle they will be in their seats right on time.
I roll down the passenger window and shout out, “Namaste!”
Suddenly I feel nostalgic. There go my babies, not really babies any more.
I watch them walk around the front lawn. Wait a minute, oh c’mon!
The four of them are calmly chatting, while sashaying across the green.
I’ve committed ten if not more moving violations trying to get them here and they’re just taking their sweet time.
If sloths could stand upright and carry brightly colored backpacks that would be them.
Like coal miners slowly heading to the time clocks taking in their last few breaths of fresh air.
There was no purpose to their strides. No zing in their step.
Oh well, welcome to high school.
I glanced down down at my phone. Hmmm, I’ve already been voted off the carpool!
Live with waffletude!