Advertisement

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

Ochsner Baton Rouge Offers ‘Flu Shot Fair’ Oct. 9-10

in Health and Wellness, Local News

Ochsner Baton Rouge will hold a Flu Shot Fair throughout the region, offering walk-up and drive-thru service.

Open Enrollment Begins at BASIS in November

in Sponsored Content

Great things are happening at BASIS Baton Rouge Schools. Your child can have the best education, tuition-free. 2022–23 Open Enrollment is November 10–December 10. Subscribe to their newsletter to get tips and tools for selecting the right school for

Does Your Teen Need a Place to Study?

in Sponsored Content

Need your teen to get out of the house to study? We get it. At Studyville, they have on-demand access to tutors who are certified to help in all middle and high school subjects, because as parents have learned, we know nothing (insert teen eye roll).

Deciding Whether to Travel with Baby or Your Breast Pump Can be Tricky

in Family Life, Baby and Toddler

When choosing whether to bring your pump or your baby on your next trip, consider this comprehensive meta-analysis outlining the merits and pitfalls of each option. It is based on my personal experience and my memory of it, which is poor, due to rea

Advertisement
Newsletter