Some readers will know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve been helping my wife this week while she recovers from surgery. Partly this means carting the girls to and from school each day.
This all happens in what we call the car line. They’re in the sixth grade and all six graders come and go from the same place. Hundreds of cars escort kids to and from school.
Going to school is a little crazy and we forgive each other for it. It’s early, and no one got enough sleep last night. Lots of people head to work after dropping Alex or Shaniqua off to school so it’s something of a mad scramble. Whenever I do it, I go early to avoid most of the silliness.
Picking the kids up in the afternoon is different for some reason. In most respects, it’s a psalm to whatever is good about people. We take turns, wave, smile a lot, and allow people to take their time. We let people jump in line and forgive when a driver steals a place. I like to think this is because a couple hundred of our kids at a time are lined up on the sidewalk, waiting to see the car they recognize.
About once every few days this calm is broken up into abject pandamonium. Some jackass with a jacked-up truck or a rusted out car with coffee cans for mufflers decides that, whatever else people are doing, they are going to be cool. To this sad human, cool means driving way too fast, cutting off other drivers, or driving thirty miles an hour past the kids.
I feel less giving when I see them cut off another driver. I want to reach for my bazooka when I see them cut across the lawn to get in front of someone. When they drive too fast in front of the kids? I am murderous and lose any hope for the salvation of humankind. And I am confident that other parents will secret me away to a safe house if need be.