I worry. I am a worrier. I don’t deny it – I worry that people would see right through it if I denied it. I worry that the ceiling fan will come dislodged from the ceiling and fall on my head while I am sleeping. I worry that if I play Frisbee, it will hit me in the mouth and knock out my front teeth. I worry that the world will run out of instant mashed potato buds and that the wheel will come off my car while I am driving and that my husband will have the cable turned off without giving me fair warning. Phew!
So this year Wesley started preschool. And as you can imagine, it gives me a few more things to worry about. But not the kind of stuff I should be worried about - like will my son pick his nose during circle time? I think I know the answer to that one already.
The preschool he goes to is a great one with a genius setup for pick up and drop off time. Parents form a line around the block and one at a time, we drive through the preschool driveway where the director gets the child out/puts the child back in. This eliminates all that pesky crying time that would normally happen at drop off. The line of cars goes halfway around the block– and therein lies the problem for me.
Flashback to Laura’s past: (this works best if you darken the room and turn off all background noise…) I am in high school. I have just taken a month-long trip to Germany. The other high school students and I had a great time but are more than ready to get home, see our families, and sleep off our jetlag. Our trip ends with a school bus ride from Chicago to our hometown, Metamora, IL. After the comfy two hour school bus ride, we all step off the bus to be greeted by our adoring families. And everyone is – except that my adoring family is missing. This is the time of life before everyone has a cell phone so I try the high school’s pay phone to call home.
Getting no answer at home, I stand there with the German teacher who was the trip’s chaperone and wait for anyone I know to drive by. Eventually all the other kids are gone and the teacher asks me if I want him to drive me home. And just as I am about to take him up on this, my mother drives up.
I don’t remember what the reason for her tardiness was but I’m sure there was a very good one – like that she had been hijacked by an albino three-legged clown who forced her to drive in circles around a Wal-mart parking lot and wouldn’t let her leave until he was sure she would be at least half hour late to pick up her sweet daughter. But even with such a good excuse, it was a little embarrassing to be “the kid whose parents forgot”.
The thing is, I don’t know when to pick Wesley up for preschool. I can’t be the first parent in line because that says “I’m a helicopter parent who hovers over my child and has no life of my own.” But if I am the last one in line, it says, “I am a crappy parent” or possibly, “I was hijacked by an albino three-legged clown on my way here.”
So I need to be in the middle somewhere. Right? Because that doesn’t really say anything. But how do I time getting there in the middle of the line? Do I park across the street and wait until some cars have gotten in line and then get in line myself? I don’t know.
All I know is that I never want Wesley to be telling his therapist how his mommy was the last car in the pick up line in preschool.
Lied to him about Santa Claus giving his pacifier to newborn babies? Fine. But last car in the pick up line? Not if I can help it.