Come on, yall! Quit nagging us well-meaning but overindulgent parents about making our kids ride the bus to ease school traffic congestion. Enough already!
Its not our fault both Lakeside middle and high schools were built on the same petite parcel of land with only one way in or out, or that directing cop, Trooper Terry Jr., cant get those disco moves in sync with all the SUVs and sports cars whirling past his bony little behind.
Were also not to blame for the fact that no one apparently learned from Lakesides jam-ups, and just went merrily along setting Greenbrier up for the same perilous patterns.
Come to think of it, were not responsible for a lot of other extenuating circumstances or factors either. For example, Georgia law 73409-B prohibits those kids whove been caught driving with a taco in one hand and a cell phone in the other from giving rides to more than one friend at a time, except on the third Tuesday of each month, unless said date falls on Theodore Roosevelts birthday. This automatically necessitates at least 15 trips back and forth to provide taxi service to desperate friends who would rather be caught kissing a mongoose than sitting next to a seventh-grader on number 944.
Never mind how the mongoose might feel about it.
In addition, its been suggested that most buses arent running at full capacity, but that just aint true on our side of town. Over here in Olde Marteenez, buses are making double trips, and even then its often three to a seat, or standing room only. Of course, being the gregarious polliwog he is, my 11-year-old actually loves this arrangement since he gets to sway with the music as he holds on for dear life. (If your kid has to stand in the aisle, you might be a redneck.)
Not only are things ultra-crowded, but to facilitate gathering large groups of young Homo sapiens in a timely manner, many harried busdrivers have to leave home at 2 a.m. and dont finish dropping off til suppertime.
And since somebody brought it up, lets talk about convenience. How else can we transport Sonny back and forth when hes forgotten his lunch bucket, or has to drag in his six millionth project of the year that requires a trifold science board, three irritated lizards, and an electric motor?
And just how does one fit a tuba, saxophone and eight drums on the average yellow Bluebird? Or 50 bookbags so huge and cumbersome a lumberjack would need a crane just to hoist one on his back?
And in all this dialogue, let us not forget the quality time in our quality cars we get to spend with our kids en route to a quality education.
Where else does Mom get the chance to ask all those sensitive, caring questions, or reveal thoughtful, self-esteem building comments?
Are you on drugs? Are your friends on drugs? Why are there holes in your progress report, and just what did Mr. Farqhuar mean by "have you thought about signing him up for the GED?
Or, It doesnt matter that youre going to swish a Coke around in your mouth before homeroom; you should have brushed your teeth. If God meant for you to pierce your eyebrow, he wouldnt have made me your mother.
To quote one popular female entrepreneur, Hey! We give good service!
Do you think its easy for us to tuck our nightgowns under our raincoats, find our husbands old flip-flops, and scurry out every morning at the crack of dawn? Ive had to endure the stares of more than one truckdriver looking down on my low-slung Intrepid, probably wondering what in the heck Im doing with a towel on my head using one corner to spitclean egg off somebodys face.
Does anyone have any idea of what innate, precise skill is required to think of new diseases, much less write believable absentee excuses, all while extricating your younger childs head from the window you raised while he was hollering at friends on the bus he missed?
Sadly enough, itll all be over soon enough, folks. Theyll be grown and gone and battling traffic for their own offspring. The wheels on the bus may go round, round, round, but these trips hauling our children back and forth to school could be considered sacred territory. When else can we play John Boy Jeopardy or discuss global warming? Those 15 minutes of confusion might be some of the most precious of all.
(Mindy Jeffers is a local free-lance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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