23 August 2011

I'm taking a ride with my best friend

Over the course of 15 years, I've driven--literally--thousands of miles getting my children to and from their schools. This seems fairly ridiculous to someone who got herself to and from school almost exclusively on her own.

For 10 of my children's school years, I was able to walk both, then one, to school, which was a relief, but that ended today with the daughter starting school at a high school five miles away. Not that I'm actually complaining about the distance--one of her classmates has a daily roundtrip that is nearly 200 miles. There's some perspective. And anyway, the son's daily round trip is more than 25 miles, which is a pain, but he can usually take the schoolbus, which is pretty efficient.

Of course, this also gives you a peek into the insanity that is Southern California. Whether school, the orthodontist, fencing lessons, if the trip is less than 100 miles, you're expected to get into the car and just go with little regard for the time or the distance or the inconvenience.

(While we were traversing the Northeast over the summer, the kids were completely confounded by the idea that you could cross multiple states' lines in mere hours. Also that one could travel efficiently on public transport the same distance that it takes hours to cover here on a bus.)

And though I am slightly resentful of this new wrinkle in the next four years of my life, mostly I am just hopeful that the daughter will find this school suits her. I always enjoyed our walks to and from home; they were our down time, our time to sort out the day. I suppose that the drive home will serve the same purpose, but the area where her school is located is busy and chaotic, and I suspect that I will be distracted just trying to get us from point A to point B.

Today, I picked her up, and it was crowded and crazy and hot. But I had a bottle of cold water in the car for her and she was pleased I'd thought of her.

"I'm so thirsty!" she exclaimed.

Once we got home, we talked and while I prepared dinner, she crushed garlic for the green beans and we talked some more.

It will all work out in the end. I assure her of this as she sets out on her scary new adventure, and now, it's time to heed my own words.

Go listen to some good music: "Never Let Me Down Again" from the album Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode.

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