Today was a half-day at the kids’ school which means that I had less time than ever to get everything done before they got home. They have requested that this week I pick them up as car riders. They also don’t like to be the last people picked up so therefore I go to the school an hour before dismissal and sit in the parking lot. Not really the parking lot – I park my car in the line of cars that have already gotten there before me, which is a parking lot of sorts. I generally take that time to organize my handbag or retrieve lost library books or even pull all of the candy wrappers, books, pencils, papers and other items that seem to collect in the doors of my car out and into some sort of organized chaos. Although those are worthy efforts and I always feel better when they’re completed – I took my time today to write the blog as I waited.
In less than an hour this car will be filled – with my girls and two friends additionally. We will head to the park where I am confident I will have to squeeze into a tiny un – air conditioned bathroom multiple times as everyone will need to pee but no one will have to go at the same time. It will likely be brutally hot and I may encounter melt downs if the slide can’t be shared or God forbid other children are already taking up the swings. I will question my decision making and my sanity as they declare themselves too hot, too bored, or too hungry to stay. (Even though there is shade, a playground and an abundance of snacks to go around). Once we do leave they will assert that they weren’t ready to go.
Although this sounds a lot like complaining – and it is at this point, really – the kids will recall it differently, as they usually do. There will be no memory of how hot it was no mention of the condition of the bathroom, or the availability of the structures. The kids will joyfully recount climbing to the top of the rock wall or beating each other at hide and seek.
So while I sit here in the quiet that I thought I wanted (and I do appreciate) I am going to remain grateful for the temporary solitude. Because I know that one day sooner than I can imagine half days aren’t going to mean sitting in a parking lot and waiting for children. They won’t even be written on the calendar at some point.
One day I will have a car where nobody sticks the remnants of a rice crispy treat in the side pocket of the door. There will be no crayons rolling from side to side as I turn a corner too sharply and I know in my heart that I will miss all of it. A few hours ago I was beyond frustrated as I piled up my stacks of returns and made a list of all the errands I had to do. But as I zipped through them quickly and without an entourage I found myself anticipating the time I would once again spend having my thoughts drowned out by the tales of kindergarten and third grade treachery and I could hardly wait for it. Lucky for me it will only be another 15 minutes or so.