Thursday, March 27, 2008

Give and Take

Sitting in car line to drop off your child at school is a lesson in human behavior. Pretty much every morning is the same. Get in car line around 7:38 a.m., and pray that it moves quickly enough to get my son in the door by the bell, which chimes at 7:50 a.m.

This is the time of day you see parents at their worst. In a hurry. Desperate. Rude. Selfish. And, this is on the best of days.

Even worse for me is that I have to take a left into my son's school parking lot. Never a good thing when you are in a rush. Essentially, you are at the mercy of oncoming traffic - either those going straight, or those taking a hard right, who, like you, are rushing to get THEIR kids to school.

So, there I am, every morning. It's now 7:42, and I am three cars away from being the next to turn left. I inch up. Ever closer to my final destination.

It's now 7:45, and I'm the next to turn left. I see a gap open. I decide to go for it. But wait...a car pulls out in front of me from the parking lot back onto the main road. Foiled. Not only has my window of opportunity closed, but two more cars come straight through the junction, enabling a flurry of cars to turn right into the parking lot before me.

Don't they know the rule? One turns right, then one turns left. Give and take. That's all I am asking, people. Be considerate. Don't they see that I am in a tight spot?

It's 7:47. I'm sweating. Hands clinched at 10 & 2 on the wheel. I'm focused. Cars continue to turn right, but I am unwavering. I begin to turn my wheel. Eye of a hawk. No guts no glory. Then, the unthinkable happens. The person who I thought was turning right does something uncanny. She stops. She smiles. She waves me ahead of her. Glory hallelujah, God DOES answer prayer!

It's 7:48 and I can see the finish line. I begin to bump the car in front of me (I saw that on NASCAR one time). He gets the hint. Hurry up. Two cars away now. Gnashing of teeth. Heart beating out of my chest.

It's 7:49:42..."Love you, buddy. Get out! Run!" are the final words my wonderful 8-year old son hears as the tires screech out of the pit...and, I'm on the road again.

I love car line.

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