I am a road warrior on our wild ride to school each day.
Cole and I leave the house at 7am -give or take a few minutes to drive the 11 city miles to the Chicago Waldorf School. On average, our school day drive takes about 45 minutes.
In the beginning, Joe drove Cole to school on his way to work and I picked him up at the end of the day. Later, when Joe left the insurance business, to pursue a career as a movie star, he took over driving Cole both ways -to school and back. Joe never complained about the round trips but over time I began to hear people comparing his driving to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
After Joe died, the round trips to school became my responsibility. I’ve been told, I’m not a great driver; my mother, the road warrior who safely travels several thousand miles each year without ever being in an accident or receiving a ticket, may have pointed this out to me a time or two. Joe, found me mild-mannered and dreamy behind the wheel. I seldom tried to beat a light or frighten pedestrians into moving a little quicker, I never blew my horn or shouted curses and threats out the window. Driving 3 1/2 hours to and from Cole’s school changed me.
The other morning, I realized just how far I had come from my mild-mannered driving days. Cole and I were leaving home behind schedule but decided to go for the gold medal and make it to school on time. School starts at 7:55am. Why 7:55 am? I have no idea, Waldorf education claims to have a reason for everything they do; I think the reason they start at 7:55am is to drive me crazy. The grade school started at 8 am, and yes, 5 minutes can be a deal breaker when you are trying to be on time.
We fired up the car and blasted out of the garage. I took advantage of the bus lanes, when the risk of being run over by a bus was low, dared lights to turn red on me, glared at construction workers until they quickly flagged me on, and hurried sleepy, pokey children on to school buses (in a motherly tone, of-course). One of my finer moves was to drive in the right lane; passing the line of traffic in the left lane, and when I reached the light, turning on my right blinker and pretend that I was going to turn. When the light changed, I quickly switched off my blinker and moved in front of the driver to my left. The driver was too surprised to offer resistance. As I drove off, I eased my conscience by offering the other driver the jaunty little thank you wave; I learned from my mother the road warrior. At the next light, my plan worked just as well but the driver honked at me, so I used Joe’s middle finger wave.
We won the gold medal, arriving at school by 7:53. Cole and I quickly high-fived one another and said our I love you’s as he dashed out the car door and into school.’ On my way to Starbucks, I let a few cars pass in front of me and graciously acknowledged a few jaunty little waves. Once again, I was just your ordinary mind mannered driver.
This video is of our car ride to school. It’s not as boring as I thought it would be…I mean it’s not as boring as watching grass grow or two banks merge. You can watch a little of this video and look forward to the one I’ll make when it’s snowing!
Do you drive your kids to school or do they walk both ways uphill in the cold? What kind of driver are you–mild-mannered, road warrior, or are you like me–mild-mannered most of the time but ready to throw on your road warrior cape, press the pedal to the metal and beat the clock as needed?