Making it work

There was a time when I did not think that I would have that crazy frazzled look so early in the morning, but here I am this morning and this is the third morning this week. The problem is that this morning I know what this afternoon holds….

Monday morning was actually pretty easy as there was no Early Morning Seminary. Andrew wanted to be to school sufficiently early enough that getting back in time to take Lance to school was not going to be a problem. In theory. In the end, it worked out just fine. I got back with about 30 minutes to spare before I needed to walk back out the door to get Lance to school. It worked out just fine.

Then yesterday happened. Early Morning Seminary is wonderful for the kids, but I am not so sure it is great for the parents when you have logistical nightmares brewing. It is not the child’s fault and really it is not the fault of the Seminary Class. I keep telling myself that in the end everything works out. It does. It always does.

With yesterday, it was not so much the morning that was the problem, it was the afternoon. That was not what we worried about with our planning. We focused on the morning logistics. Oh how wrong we were. Maybe when Ben is in town those logistics will be more critical but when it is just left on me, those morning logistics as of right now are a piece of cake so long as the two boys still at home actually get out of bed when their alarm clocks go off.

The problem I discovered was not one I anticipated. I knew that I would be cutting it close time wise, but what I did not plan on was just how close it would be and where I would be when that time melted away.
I left the house at 2:05pm to drive up to the high school to get Andrew. I told him to be on the ball and ready to go as soon as I got there. I expected to be waiting in line. I got held up by a train so I was running a tad later than I expected. To my surprise, however, there were no cars waiting where I told him I would meet him. We made arrangements to meet in one of the less approved and unauthorized student pick-up areas – the student parking lot behind the Orchestra Building. I pulled into the parking lot at 2:30pm, school gets out at 2:25pm. He walked out of the Orchestra Room and got into the car at 2:33pm. We did not pull out onto Boudreaux Rd heading back toward home until 2:25pm. It took us over 20 minutes to get out of the Klein Oak HS vicinity. The traffic coming out of that area was insane. I cut over to Huffsmith Khorville down through the school zone at Khorville Elementary and through the Ashford Place subdivision that is directly across from Blackshear Elementary where Lance attends school.

As I am pulling out of the neighborhood onto Lacey Rd to go down to our subdivision, which I have to do against school pick up traffic on the wrong side of the road because everyone is at a dead standstill waiting in line trying to get into the school, the principal, Mr Luedecker comes on the intercom releasing the bike riders at 3:12pm. I still had to get the quarter mile down the street to our subdivision and park the car! Lance did not know that I was not coming on the bike at this point because I had not planned on anything otherwise. I figured I would have plenty of time to get up to the high school and back home to change into my tennis shoes and get on the bike and ride back over to the school and pick him up. Instead we parked the car, I walked over the quarter mile to walk back with him where we loaded his bike in the back of the car and we drove home. A little frazzled…

The problem is, I do not see this situation improving any at all. What I did not realize yesterday is that school released at 2:55pm. I had to actually look that up today so I could type this post (verifying details). I am going to get there by 2:55pm today. I would have been there yesterday by that time if I had not gotten stopped by the train leaving the subdivision. We will see if even those 5 minutes makes the difference. It certainly did make a difference this morning on the way to school. 
This morning I could have thrown up my hands and said we were not riding bikes to school again. I knew it would be more of the same. I do not think that it will improve much to be honest with you. It will not make much difference on us if Ben is in town or out of town. The fact is that Andrew has to be picked up from school and so does Lance. Neither one of them has a bus. This is my life and I get to enjoy it as crazy as it is. 
Instead of throwing up my hands and saying “no” Lance and I rode again this morning. I am proud of him for buying his own bike and I want him to be able to enjoy it. He is not even complaining about the less than comfortable seat that is on it much. He has complained that his buttocks hurts, but he has only mentioned it a couple of times since Friday when we first rode over to the school. The problems will still be there this afternoon regardless of our riding bikes to school this morning or tomorrow morning. That will not change. What will change is Lance’s excitement.

So this morning we strapped on bike helmets and we rode. I might have looked a bit more frazzled than normal when I arrived home this morning but it was the totally stressed out look that crosses the face. It does not help that I was stressed out and running on only a little sleep. Being up at 5:15am a time that my tired body is not used to and then asking my body to do something that it is no longer used to doing – riding a bike nearly 4 miles in the humid, muggy air (it does wonders for naturally curly hair).
This morning I am reminding myself again that I can do hard things and it is okay to let my kids see me do hard things. It is fine to let them see me get through the rough patches. The next few weeks will be rough, but it should not be a period we “give up” during and take the easiest path during simply because it would make it a whole lot easier on us. Lance needs to do “hard things” too. It is hard to get out there and ride your bike in the Texas heat when you are tired and you know you have a long ways to go – and you tired. It is hard! 
It is even harder when you have to deal with really stupid people while you are out there doing it. I have decided that stupid people are just that – stupid. There is no other way to describe them. People who get that close to a child on a bicycle when there is an entire road beside them to drive in are stupid. Anyone one that cannot move over on the road and put more than 8″ between my handle bars and their side mirror is just stupid. A person that that knows that there are people on bicycles on the road and then intentionally pulls over close to the curb as they are approaching a stop sign are just arrogantly stupid. I do not care who they are or what they think they are doing, they are stupid. Frankly, I will remember the small cross-over SUV in bright red and if it happens again I will be recording the license plate number and the only person I will be talking to is the Harris County Sheriff’s Office – again. The traffic at back to school time is crazy enough, we do not need stupid people on the road being complete jerks to people on bicycles who are well within their rights to be in the road and are doing exactly what the person in the cars are doing – getting their kid to school. 
Alas I digress…
I did it though. I got out there and I rode with Lance this morning. He asked the hard question this morning, “How am I getting to school?” but the harder question to answer is “How am I getting home?” That one I do not have an answer for. I told him he should plan on riding his bike home but if he came out and found that I was not waiting for him with a bike, he should walk out and I would be waiting to load his bike in the car so we could drive home.
Of course right about now I am reconsidering the necessity of the hitch on my car. Loading that bike in and out of my car until October 15th is really going to get old, it would be so much easier with the bike rack on the back. I would be okay with the bike rack becoming a semi-permanent attachment on the car for the next little while as we work our way through this rough spot. It would certainly make the “uncertainty” of life a little easier to deal with.

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