No, I’m not talking about a pickup line like: “Hey baby, you must have had Lucky Charms for breakfast because you look magically delicious.” Groan.
I’m talking about the car riders’ pickup line at Emily’s school. I love it. I know many parents don’t agree with me – even my own mom freely admits that she disliked sitting in the line when my brother & I were kids. But without a doubt it’s one of my favorite times of the day.
Since I was a kid I’ve always thought that getting to pick your kids up from school was one of the quintessential responsibilities of parenthood – a daily chore that completely identified you as a mom or a dad. As a teacher I noticed that for the most part, my most well-behaved students were the ones who were picked up every day after school. It’s not something that every kid or parent is able to do, and because of that I always saw it as special. Those kids who were car riders (including Kevin and me) were blessed.
Fast forward to Emily’s first year at school. After being in the same daycare for four years Kindergarten was scary – new school, new kids, new adults. Emily was excited about it, I was the nervous one! But thanks to the recent birth of her baby sister I was not working that year and was able to be a stay-at-home mom. Which meant I was able to pick her up every day after school. And let me tell you, I LOVED it. Every. Single. Day.
When Emily was starting First Grade and Julieboo was 14 months old I had to go back to work. It wasn’t easy leaving both of my girls every day, and I missed that car line so much. It was hard to go from seeing her smiling face at 2p everyday to seeing her at 5p at daycare, after she’d already shared the events of her school day with her aftercare friends and teachers. It broke my heart. She loved aftercare, and understood that I had to work (and she finally got to ride the aftercare bus from her daycare days), but I know deep down she missed it too.
Thanks to Jay’s new job, I’m a stay-at-home mom again. And my favorite part of the day is picking up my beautiful Sugarbear. I know that sitting in a car for 30 minutes (I arrive early so I’m not blocking traffic outside the school) might not seem like an ideal way to spend every afternoon, but I find that I cherish that time. And when I think about all the things I accomplish in that time (with a toddler in the backseat), I’m surprised more moms don’t enjoy it too.
Before I leave the house I grab something to work on while I’m sitting there. If I can do it in my lap without much movement, it comes along. Some of the things I’ve done include:
- Painting my nails – I remove old polish before I leave and bring along quick-dry polish
- Sew – I sewed a furry trim on Emily’s Tooth Fairy pillow when she was in Kindergarten, I’ve also sewn buttons back on clothing
- Write blog posts – I’m actually writing this one in the car line
- Check emails
- Make phone calls
- Cut out baby shower invites
- Write letters or cards to friends
- Make lists (grocery, Christmas gift ideas, to-dos)
I guess you could say it’s my “me time.” Julia has never been much of a napper, and doesn’t ever take them at home. I usually bring her lunch in the car and she munches on that, listens to music, plays, or reads books. Sometimes if I’m really lucky and drive with the windows down on the way over she’ll pass out, and I can really focus on whatever I’m doing. For me, that makes the car line even more wonderful than it already is.
The school bell has just rung, so it’s time to stop blogging for now and go get that sweet big girl of mine. I’m so incredibly thankful for the privilege of sitting in this line, of being able to hear about her day first, and more than anything to see her beautiful face at 2p every day. Like I said, I’m totally blessed.