Morning Drop-Off vs. Afternoon Pick-Up
“Do you know in some parts of the world they don’t have a “w” sound and so they pronounce Skywalker as SkyValker?!?” my daughter said in amazement. We were holding hands and laughing, walking home from school. For some reason, SkyValker as in Luke from Star Wars struck her as particularly funny.
I'd just gotten back from a quick business trip and had gone straight to school to surprise her. “Mommmmmy!!!!,” she shrieked, her face lighting up as she launched into my arms knocking down my overnight bag. Is there anything sweeter than having your sides go numb from the sheer joy of a child’s hug?
Because of my work, it’s hard for me to pick the kids up from school. Mornings are different. I’ve been doing school drop-off from the very beginning. There was a period of time when I’d take one daughter to school, hopping, climbing and skipping along the obstacle course we created on every block along the way. Then I’d walk home, get the second daughter who started an hour later, and off we’d go sharing riddles and playing guessing games. Three hours later, while many people were still getting their first cup of coffee, I'd be in my office ready to officially start my day.
The thing about morning drop-off is it's inherently more stressful. My kids refuse to go to bed at night (waiting for us to come home from work) and I refuse to be the crazy, shouting mom which means we all wake up groggy. Then one child refuses to eat the pancakes she specifically requested ten minutes earlier. The other doesn’t want to brush her hair. The socks itch. The jacket’s not in the closet but, thankfully, the missing sneaker is. The taxis drag so slowly up the avenue you swear it’s faster to walk. The delivery truck is double-parked behind a car that is tripled-parked. The second-hand of time sweeps uninterrupted just below the surface of my seemingly calm demeanor wound-tight by daughter’s dread of a late-pass. I smile reassuringly but inside I know we have to go faster. Faster. Faster. I cannot let her down.Continued on the next page