8.20.2009

The Fifth Dimension of Hell

All across the country, millions of children are heading back to school. For most, it is a joyous occasion. While I too am excited about the start of a new school year, there is one thing that I dread. The car rider pick-up line.

As I discovered yesterday, I am not alone in my feelings.

At my son's school, parents literally start congregating in the pick-up line 45 minutes before the bell rings. Aside from parking, walking up to the building and grabbing the boy myself, I have been unable to figure out how to make the trip in under 50 minutes. For the record, the school is in my neighborhood.

The system utilized at the boy's school is terrible. I believe the devil himself was consulted during it's inception.

Here's how it works...

Cars pull up to the school in two lanes. Once the children are dismissed, all of the car riders are required to walk down the sidewalk that runs next to the pick-up lanes in search of their vehicle. If they are unable locate their parents, said children walk back to the building where they wait for the next wave of parents to line up. No cars are allowed to move until all the children are safely packed in like sardines by the front of the building.

It takes eternity. ETERNITY.

To make matters worse, there are always a few kids who are either unable to see their parent's car because it is hidden behind a legion of whale-sized SUVs, or those who never managed to make it out of the school building at all. Traffic is halted while teachers shout into their walkie-talkies in an effort to locate the child.

Eventually the line moves and the whole process starts again. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Once the children are safely stowed away in their cars, trying to escape from the parking lot poses a whole new set of problems. There is a shortage of parking spaces at the boy's school and so parents park along the two roads that lead to the building.

Here is the problem...

The roads are quite narrow. More often than not, parents park in the middle of the lane, blocking one entire side of the street. Buses can't get through, cars are careening every which way... It is unsafe and one of the main reasons that my son is not allowed to walk to school.

It reminds me of the time I was driving in Juarez, Mexico at the age of seventeen... Ten lanes of traffic trying to navigate across a sea of unmarked lanes. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

The pick-up line is something that I truly despise. Thankfully, my dear neighbor happily endures the insanity most afternoons, while I make the drop each morning. Next year, when her youngest heads to middle school, I will be left to fend for myself.

I may need counseling.

1 comment(s). Leave yours!:

mshike said... Best Blogger Tips

I totally agree with you! You should not have to sit in the car rider line 45 minutes before your kids get out of school just to be in the first round of kids going to their cars!! I hate it!! At least this year, it seems like I shouldn't haven't endure it on a weekly basis like I did last year!

Let's talk closer to next year about carpooling...I'm not sure Zach will get on the bus once Sophie is in Middle school! But, we might be fighting to see who takes the afternoons...ha ha ha!

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