The Car Rider and the Successful Pick-up

I knew I’d messed up as soon as I arrived. “No pick ups without orange sign on visor.” Well, no one told me I had to have an orange sign on my visor. I also didn’t have a soccer ball magnet on my door, a bumper sticker that says “I ‘heart‘ my family” or a family of stick figure people, dogs, and cats on the back window of my Dodge mini-van.  This is never gonna work!

This was my first ever time to pick up a Car Rider from an elementary school. I felt like such an imposter.  I’d checked Breezy out of Pre-K last year a couple of times but I did that through the office. Today I was picking her up after school and just getting in the Car Rider pick up lane like all the “other” parents. But I’ve never done this before.

I never had a kid, so I am a fish out of water. I met my stepson when he was nine, but we had him on weekends or in the summer. I never picked him up from school. So here I am at 57 years old in the Car Rider lane for the first time. I feel almost silly.  I don’t know what to do.

My daughter-in-law says get there at 2:15 and I’ll see the line. I got there at 2:04 and already 11 cars (mostly mini-vans) were ahead of me. The Dodge van directly in front of me has two stick adults, four stick kids, and two stick dogs in its family.  By 2:15 there were another 11 vehicles behind me. By 2:35 when the line moved I have no idea how many cars were in line. When the cars moved I drove up through the parking area, saw a few employees and no kids. I had no idea how to pick up a kid. I didn’t even know if they would give me one.

I stopped at the first sign of a person, rolled down the window, and said, “I’m here to pick up Breezy B.” “She’s right here,” some other worker yelled. She was just inside the door with her little car rider note saying I would be picking her up! Whew! All was well. Breezy jumped in the car and seemed happy to see me. Yay! I was successful in my first Car Rider pick up!

I began to reflect on the 30 minutes I had just sat in the pick up lane. I thought about the mothers who do that day after day, year after year, stick kid after stick kid.  Don’t get me wrong. I am so fortunate to have been blessed  with my sweet grandchild and I hope to pick her up many more times in the future. But I guess I’m glad that I was at work all those years during my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s rather than sitting in the car rider pick up lane. I’m pretty sure it would not have been for me.

But I’m also sure there are many mommas out there who wouldn’t trade one day of sitting in line to pick up there little kid who is represented by a stick figure on the back of their van. And that, folks, is what makes the world go ’round.

How about you?  Are your kids/were your kids bus riders, car riders, walkers?  Yay or nay on stick figure families?  Mini-van, SUV, or car?  Kids or no kids?  What makes your world go ’round????  Do I even want to know?????



4 thoughts on “The Car Rider and the Successful Pick-up

  1. I wanted my kids to be walkers, but in the city where I settled to have kids, the only school district with walkable schools was in the ‘hood. So we moved into some older suburbs with a decent school system, where although my kids could conceptually have walked to school, as the building was close enough, it involved a super busy road with no sidewalks. So they rode the bus. Their mom sometimes picked them up, but the mommy line was so objectionable to her that she did it only when necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I suppose riding the bus is not such a bad thing. A lot of kids do it. I never did. I either walked or was a car rider. My grandkids have ridden the bus to day care. Now they stay at the school for after school care. My friends and I talked about it at lunch today. One friend said, one must ALWAYS have a book in the car rider pick up line. It’s the only way to survive! 😉


      1. I rode the bus just two years; the rest, I walked to neighborhood schools. I’m not generally one for wishing to return to as things were in the past, but I do lament the loss of neighborhood schools. I had such autonomy and freedom being able to walk.


  2. I know what you mean. We lived across the street from our elementary school. And a bunch of us walked together to junior high. Times were different. Of course I am A LOT older than you so I can’t say how they were when you were coming up. 😉


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