20 years of carpool. By my husband’s rough calculations, he has taken the kids to school and I have picked them up 3,600 times. For some lucky moment of God’s having a bit of humor, my kids are almost a decade apart in age, thus the extended participation in carpool. Thank God we are not the Duggar’s. We have two great kids. God played an awful joke on those poor folks. They might have calculated how many kids it takes to get on TV but they failed to see the hours of carpool ahead in their lives , unless they decided to home school, in that case, there is no accounting for mental instability. Nonetheless, I silently recalculated carpool trips to account for the times The Prince and Princess “forgot something” or the events they needed to be taxied to and from daily , and my numbers were closer to the miles NASA calculated for the trip to Mars. This past Monday was a milestone not only for The Princess but for us as well. When the Princess pulled her Dad’s 16-year old Mercedes out of the driveway to find her “own” parking space in the Mountain Brook High School Parking lot, my husband and I passed a milestone. It was such a good feeling , like the feeling when we realized that Chuckie E. Cheese was in our past. Whoop! Whoop! High fives all around.
A new ritual has emerged. Funny how you think you are immune to mushyiness after all these years. No, I do not miss the mean Wicked Witch and her sister that held coven meetings in the parking lots of the BWF Elementary school for years gossiping and assuming they were the least bit interesting. We other Moms knew that they were just jealous of the good things other families shared or the lives we lived. But the ugliness somehow still managed to get a pinch of frustration from us because those “silly, insipid moms” could not GROW UP. They were still in Adult Junior High. There is no explaining the mindset of some Mountain Brook Moms. I fondly recall the moment I heard two other Moms say that the Wicked Witch’s daughter was causing drama over a postage stamp incident in fifth grade, I had to laugh then and I am still enjoying the moment now. As recently as last Monday at the MBHS Parent’s night, I saw the Wicked Witch was still flying around on her broom stick, fatter, sporting that frizzy, course, dyed-over-odd-two- inch-wide-grey-streaked hair she developed at an early age. With much amusement the “Smart Moms” and I shared the “wink and wave” we developed that day long ago honoring the “Postage Stamp Drama.” Gosh, it was so funny. The Wicked Witch still has never caught on to our mirth. She is so easily fooled…. that HAG(Hopelessly Always Gossiping, hahahaha).
Nor will I miss the day another Mountain Brook Mom , think Ann Romney here, lost track of time and arrived to the packed Mountain Brook Junior High carpool line with a horse trailer complete with two misbehaving horses. She emerged from her HUGE SUV and started screeching loudly and pounding and on the sides of the trailer not unlike how I used to shout at my Kids to quite down during traffic on HWY 280 headed to Chic Fil A (which is also a thing of the past, good riddance, thank you very much) when they would pick on each other. The only difference was I wasn’t wearing a tennis skirt! Yes, Horse-Whisper-Mountain-Brook-Tennis-Mom was all befuddled by the timing of the day. Where was her Maid? At the bus stop sweating in the humid , sweltering heat , I guess. HWMB Mom would never be seen driving her Huge SUV and TWO horses through the “modest neighborhood” on the other side of the mountain where the domestic help lived… and you thought that stuff only happened in the 60‘s. Wrong.
My husband quickly, developed a new morning ritual which consists of, following the Princess out the door and saying, “Now Sweetie, let me know if you need me. ” The first time I heard those words , I almost cried. So I stood back watching the sweet father-daughter interaction, getting all mushy inside. He stands on the porch and gives words of encouragement, “ LEAVE IT IN PARK AND REV THE MOTOR. BACK UP AND REV IT AGAIN BEFORE YOU PUT IT IN DRIVE.” “Well, I thought you heard me, he said over the shuddering of the car, I SAID REV THE MOTOR, SHE’LL CATCH IN A MINUTE.” Followed by the gentle words raising about the dewy lawn,” WELL, I TOLD YOU. YOU MIGHT NEED TO GET UP at 5:00AM.” By this time the Princess is perturbed and grimacing at us as we are waving goodbye. I am saying the same thing I have said for all these years, “BE GOOD and DO GOOD.” This time instead of the slamming door we have heard so many times in the past, we hear the screeching sounds of tires as the she peels out of the driveway trying to keep from getting hit by the BWF Elementary School parents rushing and speeding to drop their kids off before the carpool line backs up to the circle three blocks away. Ahhhhhh… carpool ritual!