This morning’s rain fall found me driving my daughter to school-although merely a sprinkle she asked and I said yes.
Upon arrival, the school was a beehive of activity…cars lined up in the carpool drop-off lane and waited patiently for a turn to part with their raincoat wrapped children. When it was our turn my own child and her friend unfolded themselves from the warmth of the car and after a call to her friend to have a great day, my own daughter and I swapped our respective ‘I love you-see you later’ parting words like trading cards, and I left.
As I was driving out of the parking lot I observed something that found me adding ‘write about this’ to the top of my ‘things to do list.’ It was moved to the top of the list because what I observed left a question hanging in my mind like the clouds that covered me:
“When a parent breaks a hard and fast safety rule and in so doing puts their kids at risk, do they even think about the message they just sent to their children?”
There is a driveway off of the heavily trafficked street that the carpool lane spills onto which leads to a back parking lot behind the elementary school; its primary function is for trucks, utilized by the staff members who manage the food service department for the school district, to get in and out. It is against the safety rules to block the entrance and allow children to exit into the driveway side of the car (let alone the street side,) which is exactly what I observed.
It took me all of two minutes TOPS to drive through the designated drop off lane. If I rewind the clock and include agreeing to drive, stopping to pick up my daughter’s friend, driving down the hill and through the drop off line then ten minutes. What did my daughter get out of those ten minutes?
Here’s what I think: nothing I need to do is more important than getting you to school dry. The extra few minutes to pick up your friend who you ordinarily walk with is my pleasure. The extra few minutes that it takes to get in line and wait for our turn to stop mean that your safety and the safety of your friend matters. Saying goodbye with an “I love you” on the lips reminds you that you are cherished. Driving a vehicle is a privilege and following rules means I can keep that privilege. Rules apply to me therefore they apply to you.
If the old saying, “children learn what they live” is true, then why do adults behave in a manner which demonstrates that rules do not apply to them and then later wonder why their kids break the guidelines that they themselves create?
For this mom those were the most important ten minutes spent this morning. What do you think?