“What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.” – Ted Kennedy
I woke up feeling like hell on Wednesday morning. My body gave in to the germ that Peyton has battled for days. Now I fully understand her level of ten grumpiness.
I managed to get out of the house just in time to get Parker to school on time. I let myself feel just a little sorry for myself that moms don’t get sick days.
I thought it was a miracle that I found a prime parking spot when I got to school. I turned left at the stop sign and slid right into the spot before I noticed a car, twenty feet ahead, in the process of turning around.
There was another, smaller spot open just ahead, and I couldn’t tell if the driver was putting her car into reverse to take that spot, or intended on taking the spot that I may have stolen.
She kept reversing her car, and at that point, through my fevered haze, I understood that she wanted my spot. She put her car in drive and angrily sped off and parked about fifty feet ahead.
I felt bad because I truly didn’t intentionally steal her parking spot.
She and her two kids came walking up the sidewalk while I was still unloading Peyton into her stroller.
I said to her, “I’m sorry if I stole your spot. I couldn’t tell if you were parking there or here.” (or really if you were trying to park at all, at first, because you were turning around when I turned the corner…)
In a snappy tone she responds, “Nope. I was going to park here. That spot’s too small for my car.”
Her nose is in the air and she walks so quickly across the crosswalk that her kids are running to keep up with her.
I can’t help myself. I yell after her, “Have a great day!”, which is of course the equivalent to a well-known hand gesture.
Welcome to the jungle at elementary school drop-off.
Here’s what I want to communicate as a public service announcement to the angry mom in all of us: we’re all in this together. We’re all in the thick of it in motherhood, knee-high in the trenches, doing the best that we can.
The best that we can isn’t perfect and it never will be, so can’t we be kind to each other along the way?
I see the mom that is consistently late to school. I see you running with your kids with your half blown dry hair. You don’t want to make eye contact with me because you’re embarrassed about being tardy three days in a row. Getting to school on time is hard.
I see the involved mom in the PTA. I see you shuffling through papers with a furrowed brow, stressing out over an activity under your responsibility. Volunteering must be hard.
I see the mom with the crying baby. I see you simultaneously trying to comfort your baby and get your older child to class. I see the bags under your eyes. Little ones are hard.
I see the working mom. I see you in your heels rushing to your car to try to beat traffic on your way to work. I’ve been there. I know that it’s hard.
I see the mom that looks half-awake that is gripping her cup of coffee. I know you aren’t kidding when you say you wouldn’t survive without caffeine, because I wouldn’t either. Motherhood is hard.
I see the mom that thought she found the perfect parking spot just to have someone else park there. I get it. Mornings are hard.
Let’s remember that we’re all in this together, because when we do that, it somehow makes everything feel easier.