But tell that to the Safety Officer at my daughter’s school. I don’t think he’s buying it.
Poor guy. He – along with my daughter -- was the unfortunate recipient of a mama meltdown – the low point of a week of high stress that finally found a relief valve via my big mouth.
Molly usually takes the bus home, but one day recently I picked her up. Drop-off is fine, but pick-up is a nightmare.
You sit in an endless line until a whistle blows. Then they allow a certain number of cars to pull up to the orange cones. The kids have about two minutes to find their parents’ cars before the whistle blows again and the next group of cars moves forward.
This is NO problem, of course, because middle school girls never get distracted. They are laser-focused on finding their mommy’s car. Not.
If your child doesn’t see you, you make a loop and go through the whole fun-filled process again.
Well, the first time I went through the line, I spotted Molly, but she was completely oblivious.
So ... I made my way into the very long line for the second time. This time she SAW me, but I was in the far lane and they wouldn’t let her cross over to me because other cars were still moving.
I sat there motioning like a lunatic (unaware that she was not allowed to go). Then the whistle blew and I was holding up progress. Which prompted the safety patrol people to go whistle-happy. And they began yelling at the crazy lady who’s just trying to retrieve her firstborn.
Did I mention that it was also raining?
As I passed through the line the third time, I went rogue. I pulled into the parking lot and motioned for her to come over.
She sprinted across the pickup line and jumped into the car. She got quite a welcome.
Me: Why weren’t you looking for me?! Do you know how many times I’ve been through this line?! But noooooo, you're just chatting with you friends, not even paying attention ....
I was still in mid-rant, when Mr. Security Officer knocked on my window.
Officer: Ma’am, what you just did is UN-ACCEPTABLE. The line is there to keep the kids safe.
Me (in a huff): Yeah, well, I tried your line and it didn’t work so well.
Officer: Well, that’s the way it works around here.
I said something else equally snippy and rolled up the window.
Molly: Wow. You were rude. I’ll take the bus next time.
On the way home, I felt that awful feeling of regret. I apologized to Molly, but I knew I needed to tell the Officer I was sorry, too. I prayed for an opportunity.
A few mornings later, I saw him in the drop-off line and rolled down the window. He actually mock-shielded his face when he saw me. I must have made quite an impression.
Me: I acted like a jerk the other day. I’m really sorry.
Officer (smiling): Well, I’ve been known to act like a jerk now and then, too. I won’t hold it against you.
Molly: Awww… that was nice of you to apologize to him. You did the right thing, Mom.
As a parent, I try to set a good example. But I don’t always get it right. Our kids don’t either. But I can always make it right. And I can show my kids how to, too.
I truly think they often learn more during our "sorry" moments than our superior ones.
Still, I think it's safer for all parties if Molly sticks to the bus.