Existentialism in Carpool Line


As a mom of a first grader and preschooler, I spend A LOT of time in my car. Waiting in carpool line can seem interminable, especially with little miss who is passing time with me in the back seat. It wasn't really something I factored into our school decision, but it's become a fact of life. Unfortunately, it's one of my least favorite facts! 

As we wait, I can't help but start doing the math–making myself feel awful as I watch my life tick away one carpool at a time. If I average 20 minutes in line each day, that adds up to more than an hour and a half each week sitting in my car waiting–multiply it by the number of weeks of school and we're talking major time. At least once per week, I'm in line for a solid hour to be near the front and get my daughter early to make it to swim class on time. I'm lucky that my husband does the morning drop off most days, so that doesn't have to figure into my carpool calculus. But of course, I dwell on what else I could be accomplishing. Writing perhaps?!

I try to make the most of the time by reading or listening to (kid-friendly!) podcasts or audiobooks. But sometimes, I make a rookie mistake and leave my book at home or am all out of audio choices, so my mind drifts in bizarre directions. As I start looking around, I notice the weirdest things–the preponderance of white vehicles for example. Is that a trend? Or a Louisiana thing? Once, I counted at least 10 cars, trucks, and vans in my immediate vicinity that were white with more dotted throughout the line. What's up with that?

The environmental impacts of our collective carpool line cross my mind as I look around at the other gas guzzling vehicles, some of which remain on for the entire wait. I usually shut off my engine when we're going to be stopped for a while, but when it's blazing hot outside, I sometimes choose comfort over environment! If only there were a more eco-friendly way we could all get our children safely home...group transportation perhaps? Pool our money to make it happen? Surely what we spend collectively on gas during carpool would be enough to get all our kids home? I think I may have just invented a school bus route while staring at the back of another mom's van.

As I ponder and fidget, scroll, or toss snacks back to little sister, I also see high schoolers leaving campus, some with younger siblings or babysitting charges. More than once it has crossed my mind that an entrepreneuring older student could make a killing by offering to check out the kids and walk them to their cars. At our school, all it takes is the little carpool number tag. I'd definitely pay $1/kid/day to avoid the line and move on with my life. I realize there are safety implications and it's entirely unrealistic, but still, I dream.

For now, I'll continue my mental math and look on the sunny side of life–I have a car to get my kid to and from school, and she's receiving a great education–even as the never-changing view from my windshield can feel so, so bleak. 

If you have carpool tips, hit me up in the comment box on the right.

Reviews

2 Reviews
Beth
Lawton, OK
Carpool

Interesting take carpool line. As a teacher, I hadn’t really considered the parents perspective.

April 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0
Natalie
Baton Rouge, LA
Appreciated!

Thoughtful commentary and adorable kid in the back seat!

April 2019

Did you find this review helpful?

0

Recent Articles more articles

EARLY VOTING FOR THE APRIL 24 ELECTION

in Local News

Early voting continues through Saturday, April 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, excluding Sunday, April 11.  Citizens who want to vote early may do so in person at the parish Registrar of Voters Office or at other designated locations.

What’s the Best Age to Introduce Chores?

in Family Life, Anita RaJean Walker

We strive to raise well-adjusted children that have all the skill sets to succeed later in life. Chores are part of that because they help foster self-esteem and independence.

Wild Wine Walk

in Things To Do, Sponsored Content

Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo is thrilled to be hosting their first ever Wild Wine Walk on May 21, 2021. Guests (21+) are invited to stroll through the zoo for an early evening of wine tasting, food sampling, and live music.

Explore the Mighty A

in Sponsored Content

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is open daily, beginning at 8 a.m., with 30 historic planes, tanks and artillery, the USS Drum, park memorials, fishing pier, and bike service station.

Newsletter