We are in full-on baby mode these days. The whole family is mobilized, and we all have our assignments. We’re ready to drop what we’re doing at any moment and get to wherever we’re needed as fast as possible. Some day within the next week that destination will be the hospital. Today, in my case, it was school.
Since this was Dakota’s first day at his new school, Tammy wanted to ride home on the bus with him. That meant someone had to pick up D.J. from first grade, and today I got that assignment. It meant I had to stand outside the classroom with all the other mothers and wait for him to come out. Tammy had sent a note to his teacher to make sure she knew it was okay to release him to me.
For a long time I’ve known not to drive by a school when it’s letting out. I knew the streets in the neighborhood would be packed with cars, so I left a little early and got there ten minutes before the final bell. That proved to be just about right, although it was the hottest day we’ve had in a while and I didn’t want to wait in the car that long.
But I didn’t want to be seen prowling the schoolyard, either, so I waited a few minutes until I saw parents converging from all directions. Then I knew it was safe, and I also knew there would be someone to ask if I couldn’t find the classroom. Room 1 wasn’t hard to find, though, and at least there was shade outside the door, so I wasn’t roasting while I waited.
And D.J. came bopping out to me, calling my name and giving me a hug before dragging me to the door to show his teacher that he was leaving with a real person and not just wandering off on his own. The schools are good about that sort of thing around here these days. It’s all about safety, and if there had been any question I’m on the list in the office. But all I got was a smile and nod from the teacher.
As usual, D.J. was, uh, chatty on the way home. He had a good day, and he likes his teacher. “She’s a good teacher for a boy like me,” he told me. I’m sure that’s true, because he got in a little trouble for being too, uh, chatty on his first day last week, but he’s had a clean record since then. As we maneuvered through the after school traffic, he sang “On the Road Again.” Donkey sang that, he reminded me.