I drive my four boys to their respective schools every morning. I drop off Gabriel and Markus at Lena Shaw Elementary then Gino and Mickey near Johnston Heights Secondary. I try to haul everyone to the car by 8:05, but 9 out of 10, we leave at least five minutes later.
By the time we leave the house, I have probably reached half my stress level for the day. There are days when I wonder if I should just find a carpool for the younger ones and let the teens take the bus. Then I could bide my time, fix my hair better, put on a little more make-up. And eat a decent breakfast.
So why do I keep driving my boys to school? Weighing the pros and cons, I still think these car rides with my kids are worth the trouble. I savour their company even if there are some occasions when I lose it and spout the oft-repeated line, “Will you guys please cooperate? I can’t afford to lose my job!!”
But most days, we spend some 10 minutes together chattering about whatever – music, school, religion, politics, money, history, girls, inanities… We’ve had some funny times and sour times, but I consider each one a bonding time. It may not look like it today, but when these boys grow old, they, like me, will have some good memories from these daily rides together.
Classes at Johnston Heights ended last week, Lena Shaw has until June 28. After that, they will be off school for about two months and I will be driving by myself in the morning. Gino has graduated from high school so he will no longer ride with us when school opens in September.
I know it’s only a matter of years when all my kids will be out of high school and driving on their own, so for me these rides to school are very precious. They are not just car rides. They are riding through life together.