There is just something about the days of the week that Ella has preschool. They confuse my internal clock. In the morning we're all "Ohmygod, we have to leave in five minutes, HURRY!". And then we make it to school on time, and Charlie and I drive home. Once home he has a snack while I get some chores done, then it's nap time for him, during which my brain says "Ahhh, relax. Sit down for a spell and read a book." Or as was the case last week "Fall asleep on the couch the moment you sit down and wake up two hours later in a puddle of your own drool." What is so obnoxious about these days are the constant GO GO GO! Okay now STOP. WAIT. Nooooowwww....it's GO TIME! Once 1:30 rolls around and I know it's time to leave the house, no one or no thing had better stand in my way. I am hauling ass to get to the school on time, lest I be charged $1 for every minute I am late. I say all of this just to give you an idea of how I was feeling last Friday on my way to pick up Ella from school.
Frazzled and in a very sizable hurry, I opted for the shorter-in-distance-but-not-in-actual-minutes route, because if you can get lucky and not hit any traffic, it IS quicker, by like 3 whole minutes. Halfway out of our neighborhood, Charlie starts whining. Crap, I told myself. I maybe kind of forgot to feed him lunch. This is what school days do to my brain: I forget to feed my children food. I weighed the options. I could turn around and go back to our house, run inside, and pack a quick snack, but also risk hitting traffic that was so far non-existent. Or I could stop at a gas station and grab a box of crackers or something and continue on my way. I chose the latter. Three minutes and a bag of Goldfish later, we were on our way, me being slightly more frazzled than before and eyeing the clock warily. "Please God, I only have two dollars in my wallet, and I will be forever mortified if I have to tell the preschool ladies to put the balance on my tab. Amen." Things started looking up. Every traffic light I encountered was GREEN! No cars turning left on a road with no turn lane thus making them have to come to a complete stop in the middle of the road! Awesome. I was feeling like I was actually going to be on time when BAM. Minivan, driving twenty eight miles an hour. On a road where the speed limit is 45. Rage. Hatred. Maybe some severe language going on in my car at that point. I could not pass her, I could not take a detour...this was the only road that led to the preschool, and it is one lane the whole way, baby. Of course it is. I couldn't see into the van very well, only enough to see the outline of a significantly overweight woman with frizzy hair. As I only had Charlie in the car with me at this point, I felt like it was okay to let a little of my rage come out. "COME! ON! For real, you hag, you are probably out driving around looking for estate sales so you can load up piles of shit in your van before heading home to watch Dr. Phil and eat Cheeze Puffs. Come the hell on, MOVE IT! God, YOU SUCK! So help me, I will rear end your shitty van if you do not get it up over 30 miles per hour right this instant!". Or something like that. So it continued...me, stuck behind the slowest driver in all of America, every few minutes having a glimpse of hope as she sped up to 30, then 35, then...slowed back down to 25. This only made the rage worse. I was alternating between muttering profanities and screaming profanities when I saw it. She got into the turn lane to turn left, away from my route to preschool. I glanced at the clock, and saw that I had two minutes left, and I could maybe possibly make it if I did 55 the whole way there. Still annoyed and somewhat angry, I was muttering not-so-nice things under my breath as I came up around the van, hoping to get a look at this woman before I sped past her. I had one last hurrah as I passed her, mumbling "Moron!" as I approached the turn lane she was sitting in. And that was when I saw it. The SIDE of her van, previously obscured from my view. It read "Middle Tennessee Medical Transport". And in the van I could clearly make out a larger than normal car seat with what appeared to be a teenage boy strapped in, clearly handicapped. Oh GOD. OH MY GOD. I had just spent fifteen minutes cursing and yelling at a woman who was driving a handicapped boy to the doctor. I instantly closed my mouth, my eyes wide, and said a silent prayer that I would not, in fact, "get what was coming to me" in the form of a horrific car accident on the way home that day. I almost said some hail Marys but then remembered I am not Catholic. I pulled into the preschool, exactly on time, not a minute late. And I spent the rest of the day watching out for a huge rock to fall on my head, and feeling like a terrible, terrible person.