The people in front of me are energetically having a conversation. I suppose I could say, “Having an energetic conversation” but the emphasis for them seems to be on the waving arms and pointing fingers, so the emphasis for me must be on the energy. Thankfully the pointing doesn’t seem to be at each other and occasional laughter floats back to me on the afternoon breeze, so I don’t think that their energetic conversation is accusatory. Although it would make the day more interesting for me if it was.
That’s not very nice of me.
I see a lot of things while waiting in line to pick up my daughter at the end of the school day. Yes, I’m one of those moms. The funny thing is, I usually have nothing but complaining to do about this line: the gaps left between cars, the parent who inches forward constantly, causing me to feel guilty if I don’t move my car and irritated that they didn’t just move all the way up to begin with.
But I live in a small town, so I’d better keep my mouth shut. Complaining is not attractive.
Of course, the fact that I live in a small town means that I often know the people in the line all around me.
That person in front of me is separated from her husband. Perhaps he’s who she and her friend are discussing with such energy. And the person at the back of the line who always waits until the last moment to leave her home to get her kid…she’s a person I’d like to know more but neither of us have time to make each other a priority.
Life is like that sometimes.
But I do, apparently, have time to pick up my children each day, from two different schools (next year it will be three) and taking about an hour of my life each day. It’s an hour they don’t have to spend on the bus (and if you remember your bus-riding years, perhaps you’ll understand). And it’s another hour I get to spend with them, asking about their day, sorting out their evening needs. Yes, there are times I wonder why I do it…but not many.
I am writing these words – ok, not all of them, but most – on the back of my husband’s old business cards. I am not a writer who composes in her head as I drive, shower, take a walk, fall asleep. I have lost far too many perfectly crafted sentences to do that anymore. I refuse to even begin phrasing things. I mull over the concepts, but I do not compose. And yes, I keep pads of paper on my bedside table, in my purse, my car, my diaper bag.
Well, I did back in the day when such a thing was a permanent third appendage on my body. Now I’m past those diaper bag days and well into the soccer mom part of my life. Or rather, I would be if my children played soccer. They are, sadly, coordination-challenged, given the fact that their mother – an English major – and their father – an engineer – gave them thinking genes and not moving ones. But they’re good at both math and literature, so that’s at least something. I was always the kid whose GPA got messed up by PE. PE!! Oh, and art. I wasn’t too good at that, either.
The line is creeping forward and it’s time for me to put down these business cards and pay more attention to my driving.