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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another reason to homeschool/Winning and Losing

I just read on another group's site about a FL bus driver who got a group of elementary school kids lost more than 60 miles from their school and their homes. When the kids spoke up, she apparently cussed at them. NICE!

Anyway, here is a brief run down of my latest PS experience. I am picking up my neighbor RM from school on Mondays and Fridays for the foreseeable future. Monday was of course the first day of school and our first time doing this. I took Scott to piano at 2:30, and left him there with instructions that I would be late getting him since I had to pick up RM at 2:55, piano ended at 3, and I can't be in two places at once. I went immediately to the school and was in line by 2:45ish. I was about the 7th car. By 3:02, we had moved up one car length. By 3:08, we were finally at the pick-up area, but as they paged RM, she was no where to be found. Then they ask me to move up and said they will bring HIM to me when HE arrives (RM is a girl), so I correct them and inform them that I need them to find her oh, 15 minutes ago, since my son is now sitting on his teacher's front porch 15 minutes away, baking in the hot sun. They come about 5 minutes later with her, and say to me, "She was with the walkers" to which I reply to RM, "Your mom to me to pick you up here." BIG MISTAKE!!! The teacher lady says, "You're not her mom??? Then you can't have her. She can't get in your car. Are you on the list to pick her up?" I reply that I should be and she says, "Well I have to check".

Now, God still has a LOT of work to do in my life, and this area is a big one for me. I'm all in "mamma bear" mode for my son who is miles away and whom I can't contact because he doesn't have a phone and my cell is dead. We are now REALLY late, and she wants to make me even later by checking a LIST? Are you kidding? So she radios the office. Then someone has a nice "are you there, what are you doing?" sort of chat on the radio with someone else and then the office radios back to find out who they were supposed to be checking on, and then they finally come back with..."You are not on the list so you can't have her". At this point, I am not shining with God's light and I wittily reply, "Well then you can keep her" which of course I don't mean at all because we'd take in RM in a heart beat if we needed to. She's like a third daughter. I try agruing (very civilly) that they were about to let her in the car BEFORE I said that. To which teacher lady replies, "No I would not have because you aren't her mother." And I reply that she didn't know that before I said it, and 5 minutes ago she would have been fine to get in the car, and she replies, "I would not have let her get in." And I of course tell her she certainly would have since they weren't checking ID's at all and they never would have known. She gets huffy, tells me she will not stand there and argue with me, and she walks away...with RM.
So now what? Now I've wasted 40 minutes in a pick up line at a school my kids don't even attend to pick up a student that isn't even mine while my son bakes in the sun 15 minutes, and an eternity of miles, away. So I drive around the corner, leave Mimi and Sari in the car, and run into the office to plead my case with the secretary. See, my kids spent 3 years going to speech at this school, and I spent 3 years of sitting in that office 2xs a week waiting for them. After pleading my case, they release RM to me, (boy was teacher lady angry) and we go get Scott. God is soooo good in that my friend SG's son had the lesson after Scott, so she was there the whole time. She spoke to him, and he rode scooters with her kids, so it was totally fine, and that's how I got to see SG, and I'm soooo thankful beyond words that she was there.
But I called this post winning and losing because in the end, I won the battle, but I lost my cool and more importantly I lost my Christ-likeness. I'm not sure what Jesus would have done, but he probably would have been much calmer than I was. I do want to be clear though that I really was mostly calm and still quite polite with teacher lady despite how I might make it sound in this post. I was frustrated though, and did not do well in that trial as I learned in James. God still has a lot of dross to burn away in situations like that for me. I have a deeply ingrained sense of "justice" (thank God HE does not extend grace in the same way I expect justice to function or I'd get what I eternity in hell) and was frustrated that people were parking, skipping the car line, walking up to retrieve their children, and then getting back in the car and driving away, all while I sat there waiting. No wonder we moved 1 car length in the first 7 minutes after school was out. I was following "the rules" and clearing being penalized for it. My schedule needed to be a well oiled machine, but it got rusty fast. I was also frustrated that the rules changed mid-event. While I was waiting in the car pick up line, I clearly saw that they never asked for ID or questioned anyone at pick-up. Indeed, if RM had been there originally, she would have hopped in my car, and this all never would have happened. I was frustrated that my statement was the cause of their change in policy. If they have a problem with me getting her, then then should be checking ID's for everyone. I think it's more unlikely that a child pervert would announce that they were picking up a child that wasn't theirs. No, they would sit quietly and just let the kids get in the car, and the school would be none the wiser. It's a false sense of security to only check people who admit they aren't the parent. And what if I was her mom, but was forbidden by the courts to get her? They would not have known that and she would have hoped in, again with the school none the wiser. It's selective enforcement. Either do it for all or none, not just the honest ones, or we are less likely to be honest next time (I'd NEVER lie, but I might just offer info on a need-to-know basis there from now on). Can you tell I'm on a soap box now. Oyy, what a piece of work I am.
I'm thankful that God knew this would happen and He provided for Scott to have a safe situation while he was waiting. I'm thankful He doesn't give up in my and He loves me enough to give me trials to perfect my faith, and hugely thankful that I've grown in my spiritual walk enough to recognize my failings when they happen.
until tomorrow,
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