“Put them on the bus!” I said boldly from the confines of my car.
“Why are all of these people driving their children to school?!” I added with a huff as I sat and sat in traffic on my morning commute to the big city.
I dreaded the start of school. It meant painful commutes, because the roads were full of parents driving their children to school.
One morning, it took me an hour and a half to go 7 miles on a residential road. Granted, the road was inadequately sized for the population of people, but in the summer you could sail down it with no problem. The school year was a different story.
Fast forward six or seven years and three school-aged children later.
Perspective shift. Paradigm shift.
It’s similar to the view of the screaming child in a restaurant. The appreciation (or lack there of) changes when you’ve experienced it with your own child. And, it morphs even more when your kids have moved far beyond that phase (at least for most of the time 😉 ).
Now-a-days, I gaze over with some jealousy and drawl, “Awwwwww,” as I refer to the child and the poor parents who are embarrassingly looking around and trying to shush the child.
I eagerly await their eye contact so I can give a little nod and smile at them to infer that it is okay, awkwardly moving my forehead in the direction of my own offspring to show them that I have been there and that it is all good.
Experiences sure do change perspective!
My alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m., and depending upon the number of snoozes, I then wake up my kids at 6:00 or 6:10 (one and two snoozes respectively). I get them ready, which entails me dragging them from bed, feeding them, packing their lunches and snack boxes, filling their thermoses, encouraging them to change out of their pajamas into suitable school clothing, asking that they brush their teeth and then telling them to put on their shoes and to complete the herculean task of getting in the car and buckling themselves into their seats.
In reality, this whole process should take an entire 24 hours, as it has major obstacles such as the fact our house is a similar temperature to the artic circle and at least one child is rendered paralyzed on the floor, in the fetal position, unable to make it the three additional steps to the table to consume the breakfast I have prepared for him or her (but usually him) because he/she is suffering hypothermia.
The same child begs for a blanket, but often the throw blankets are all used up by my husband who is still slumbering on the sofa because he was up late working and by the time he came to bed a child was sleeping in his spot. So, he was relegated to the IKEA sofa in our teeny rental, which we are thankful is a full 500 square feet larger than the
lake house dilapidated 720 square foot fishing cabin, that we lived in for 15 months.
So, the child writhes, while in the fetal position on the floor, uttering in his best ventriloquist ways, “I’mmmmmm coooooolllllllld.” The thermostat says 73 degrees and it is at least that temperature outside as well.
The bus comes at 6:21 a.m.
We leave the house (by car) at 7:00 and school starts at 7:30.
The Melissa of yesterday would strongly suggest I put my kids on the bus. She is some Corporate America working woman with no school-aged kid perspective. She would like me to get up at 5:15, wake the kids at 5:30 and shove my three kids on the bus with a sleeve of hostess donuts and an extra thermos filled with orange juice, which would leave me with nine thermoses to wash at the end of every day. Because, due to the even earlier waking hour, there is no way that my hypothermic children will be able to eat prior to the arrival of the bus.
I would be bribing the PTO and the principal for as many pajama days as possible.
The Melissa of yesterday probably also believes in testing make-up on bunny rabbits. (That’s not true, but you get the point).
Meanwhile, the Melissa of today drives the kids to school. And, she tries to not look at the cars who pass by as she shifts into the turning lane for the school in her minivan with backpacks and lunch boxes busting from the seams and an occasional stuffy flying outside of the window.
I may not be looking, but I know you are there ‘Ms. Yesterday,’ muttering, “Just. Put. Them. On. The. BUS!”
I was there too.
It sure is easier said than done, but “Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.”
Just make sure you look for me in the restaurants when you have your first born. I will give you a thumbs-up nod with my forehead.
XO and journey on,
P.S. My moccasins lack the energy to share a knowledge nugget today. Enjoy your commute and drives to school! 🙂