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Drop Off / Pick Up – Car Line Hysteria

If you’re like me, you’re dropping off and picking up kids at least twice a day for school.

     Two schools, five days a week, that’s my route. Nothing says, “Did I have enough cups of coffee this morning?” then taking on the challenge of a nice long wait in the school drive line. I do my time every morning and every afternoon, behind a line of slowly flashing break lights. They look like the eyes of demons, just taunting me saying, “You’ll never get to the front, muhahahah”

    Mornings are slow going while you wait for the kid at the front to ask his mom about lunch money, after-school practice, or just wait for her to give him some last-minute instruction for the day. All the while you are left wishing you had never promised the kids you would drive them. The bus route takes forever but I still can’t help wondering if it would have saved me half my sanity.

    Every day after school, parental pick up zombie moms and dads hurry to this line with hopes to be close to the front of the line. Grunting and dragging their minivans at snail’s pace in hopes for an eye view of their child. If you are a die-hard, you will get there as early as an hour or more before school lets out to secure your place. You will weather winter storm and summer heat, all means necessary, just to pick up your kid minutes sooner jetting quickly out of dodge. I admire the people who have that kind of patience. I am not one of them. I choose to get there a few minutes after school gets out hopeful that most of the early birds have flown. Still, there I sit stuck edging my way robotically ahead. It’s like an automated time clock just ticking closer as each car advances. Stop, wait, wait for more, slowly proceed. Over and over again till finally, you receive a small celebration, you have actually now entered the school parking lot from the snake scrolled line that wraps around the school grounds.

   Now for me, I hope that once I reach the very front that my kid is actually out there. Most of the time my mastermind children know me to be late, so they hang out talking with friends in school. There is nothing like squashing the short victory of making it to the front like having to pull over to wait for your kid. Not to mention, all the looks you get from the successful pick up parents who drive by you with pity and dismay. I can just hear them now. “Hey lady, where’s your kid, your blocking the line!” Furthermore, to add insult to injury, the line teacher comes over to get your child’s name so they can either shout it out or announce it over the loudspeaker.  The utter shame of it all.

    Taking a deep breath, I have learned to consider the bright side of the drive line torture.  Drive lines are safe and easy ways for kids to get picked up from and dropped to school each day. They are routed well and successfully run by a barrage of semi-willing victims, a.k.a teachers, monitoring the line to make it all happen. I do commend the schools on their efforts to keep things moving along as much as possible. It’s much safer to have the organized drive line then it would be to allow parents to park and pick up just wherever. Kids running all over, parents driving all over, would not be a good mix. Forging ahead, following protocol, and looking forward to seeing you tomorrow in the drive line. I’ll beat you there or maybe not.

Annmarie M. Roberts   Oct 2016