Friday, November 16, 2007

The race is on

Something happens each morning around 8:00 and 2:55-3:00 each afternoon. That is prime driving time for the parents that pick up their children from school. I almost sense a mentality that once you put the vehicle in drive and start driving to school you enter a race. The kids have been in school for 13 weeks now and it is always the same vehicles entering and exiting the neighborhood, so it is inevitable that I have realized the green Ford Explorer in front of me going slow is headed to school, as is the dark green Suburban that will try and back out of the driveway in front of me each day as I head down the street. I know not to get behind the gold Sienna on the way home because he believes his Sienna truly is made of gold. He will slow down to 5mph to go over the speed humps. I want to give him a little Sienna love with a bumper bump to speed him up. I know we can safely take the speed bumps at 26 mph and if you glance back in the rear view mirror you may even see some cheek jiggle from the kids but they are unphased. We really should have numbers painted on our cars to relay our pole position in the race to school; maybe a good announcer on the radio to make it all more official and that much more fun. One day, Miss White Dodge Caravan decided to cut through the church parking lot to avoid the one and only stop light. Her place in line at school? A whopping 2 places before me; and we all leave the school at the same time. If I take my time driving as usual, I am usually followed so closely that my poor van has a wedgy all day. I’m used to living in towns with uptight, type A men wearing camouflaged uniforms who carry those personalities over to their driving. I’m fairly accustomed to aggressive drivers but this type of aggressive driving is new for me. This class usually has blonde hair and says Hey Y’all and gushes sweet nothings as the children hop in the vehicle and then the race is on again; because you know children can’t wait to get home and do homework.

The fish died.
He was a good fish; he never complained about being overfed by overzealous children, he accepted his fate of infrequent filter and water changes and seemed content with sharing his life with only a frog. He just swam and ate, until yesterday. We gave him a proper flush last night and then listened to all three children completely break down into tears. Emily was distraught and inconsolable. You are not supposed to flush a fish; that is cruel in the eyes of a child. A dead fish goes in the trash. We told her he was returning to the sea but she said “BUT HE’S DEAD!” Yea, well, ummmm…our trash doesn’t have healing powers, honey.

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