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reading tiger

Mission accomplished.

I am a person who is chronically late. We used to joke that I am on Bi Standard Time because I'm 15 minutes late to everything. (Well, not everything. I make movie and theater showings more or less on time. Mostly by aiming to be a half-hour to 45 minutes early and ending up missing my mark by, well...)

15 minutes is not so bad. I can live with it. I am mildly embarrassed by it, but only mildly.

The place I am most embarrassed by it -- the place where it has always caused most problems -- is work and school. See, I can make a movie theater showing early/on time because it's a one-time thing. If I had to be at the movie theater every day, I'd end up being late more times than not. I just know.

(It is not helped that I don't drive and am thus subject to the vagaries of public transportation.)

Now, of course, this is compounded by the fact that I have kids, and I am responsible for getting *them* somewhere on time.And I feel an unfamiliar burden of shame.

So I made it my goal this year (and last) to never be the last one in to school. As long as I wasn't the very last parent dropping off their kid(s), I could feel OK about myself, because it indicated that I was still trying. That I hadn't sunk to the bottom of the barrel. I might be consistently the second-to-last parent while the last parent varied by circumstance, but no matter. I had achieved, well, something, if I successfully met this goal. We could work up to harder feats, like never having to go to the office for a tardy slip in kindergarten -- next year's goal.

Please don't try to dissect this logically. I know what it looks like.

Today I came dangerously close to blowing my goal. The kids and I both had a hard night last night -- struggles around bedtime, a 1 a.m. nightmare -- and we all overslept badly. Badly enough that I knew there was no way we could make it to school on time no matter how we tried. All we could do was minimize the damage.

I rushed everyone through their morning paces. I skipped my own breakfast. And shower. I did the most perfunctory hair routine we have on the kids' bedhead. I packed the easiest lunch. There were no tears or fights, thanks goodness, because I seemd to impress upon the children the urgency of our mission. They didn't dawdle. Hooray! Still, we flew out the door 15 minutes late already.

Fortunately, we live two blocks away from school, so we just walked briskly downhill. It was almost a game at this point. Come on, we have to get to school! Go go go!

And as I walked through the white picket gate at the front of the school building, a compact car pulled up to the curb. Inside, in the carseat in the back, was another one of April and Simone's classmates. Her dad was looking tired but cheerful as he went around to unbuckle her. Meanwhile, the twins and I hustled inside.

I did it! 20 minutes late and still not the last one in -- by the skin of our teeth, to be sure, but so what? We all have our little triumphs. I'm going to savor mine. At least until the next school morning.

Comments

Congrats! We used to have to tell my mother to be places at least a half an hour earlier than everyone else just to get her there reasonably late. She used to blame it on having 3 kids to get ready but now she just says it's her prerogative.
My aunt is like that, too. I guess it runs in the family :)
I am consistently about 15 minutes late, too, so that will probably be what I look like when I have kids. :)
Awesome :)