Haven’t we all, at one time or another, indeed, carpooled with the devil? Whether it be for work, play, or school? You are enjoying one of the few Augusts ever, in the history of time, not to be carpooling, but you still remember. You still have the occasional carpool nightmare. Don’t we all.
During pre-school, there was the whole car-seat thingy, switching and swapping and who’s picking up whom, when. You had one nervous mother hang up on you because you were not driving the day her son came over to play; he was delivered via your carpool. She eventually delivered ten children and drove them everywhere herself.
During elementary school days, the length of any station wagon, minivan or Suburban (nicknamed ‘bourbon barge’ due to the resemblance in size to a pontoon boat) exceeded the width of your starter home’s yard. There was the usual infighting during carpool–siblings including a set of triplets and a set of sisters–all fighting over who got to sit next to your son–a tot in a car-seat. The school bus in our new neighborhood was a godsend, (except the day it got stuck in a flood with your child on board).
During middle school you drove through hail and high water. Literally. Most of the girls were so kind and polite, yet one was an absolute BEAR. And she wasn’t even in your carpool, but was instructed to stand out front and pawn rides. Can’t I have a ride home? Why didn’t you invite me home, instead of Catherine? Etc. etc. (That poor ‘child’ is still an absolute BEAR today at age 25, God bless her).
Carpool slowly dissipated after about 10th grade or so, but your last freshman guy carpool herd was very active. You well remember pulling off to a side street when the backseat boys would go totally ADD and have nuclear melt-downs. WTH? (What the Heck). Your laidback son would shrug and say that Tyler had too many Krispy Kremes in home room and too many Mountain Dews at lunch. Then, slowly, circa the early 2000’s, they started to text–thank ye gods–a quiet activity.
You highly enjoyed most of the basketball, football, soccer and lax carpools–except for the constant mud on jerseys, shoes, balls and sticks. (guys seem to be attracted to diving and rolling on sodden turf) After school, post-game, the team players were so very weary and humble–exhaustion had set in.
At one point, early on–you carpooled with an absolute nut. When you first moved into your new house, your neighbors said to contact Delilah, that she had been in charge for years. Oh, Lord. When you phoned her, the Carpool Queen declared, “Oh, I just love the carpool the way it is, we will never change and add anyone else,” and hung up. You were saddled with a four-year old and a baby, and needed to carpool to a pre-school intown. You called her back and told her in so many words that her proclamation didn’t quite sit right with you. Once she deigned to started to carpool with you, she was always late, her poor two offspring were never ready, and she insisted that you to drop off her children at various and sundry places. Did she need her dry cleaning picked up along the way, perhaps? When you pulled up to the ‘coop destinations,’ her poor children screamed and refused to get out of your car.
Then one day, Queen Nut pulled a no-show. When you dashed over to her place (after she didn’t pick up the phone) she answered the front door at seven- thirty in the morning in her robe and blurted, suddenly grasping her jaw, “Oh–I just had a root canal a minute ago!” Later, Delilah had several various and sundry canals (all fabricated, you discovered). She was later caught red-handed stuffing precious items for the school auction into her purse. Carpool Queen was dethroned, and took to driving her own children in a spankin’ new BMW, top-down, clad in a tennis dress, visor and Jackie O sunglasses.