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Better late than never…or is it?

October 12, 2011

This morning, The Kids and I had one of those mornings.  It took a little longer to get out of bed, we ate breakfast a little late, and we left the house REALLY late.

I can get The Kids to school in 6 minutes, as long as we hit every green light on Walton Way.  That means that we must be backing out of the driveway no later than 8:19 each morning.  Today, we got in the car at 8:21.  Four minutes.  Not.  Gonna. Happen.  Meanwhile, I start to sweat.

I hate being late.  Now, before you ridicule, let me clarify.  I didn’t say it never happens.  Life gets in the way and delays everyone from time to time.  However, more often than not, I’m the person who gets there too early and circles the block a few times for fear of being the first one to arrive.

While being early can just be a little awkward, it’s never disrespectful.  If someone is habitually late, that tells me that their time is more valuable than mine.

A friend’s mother is law is late to everything.  Everything.  Even if it’s just five minutes, you can guarantee that she will not be there on time.  We were at a restaurant once and couldn’t be seated until the entire party arrived.  She was forty-five minutes late.  I can’t understand why everyone continues to put up with her tardiness.

It’s a selfishness to which I can’t relate.   Although I’m pretty sure that selfish people live much happier lives, because they’re not concerned with everyone else, I’d rather be considerate.  They just sail through life, getting what they want, obliviously leaving a Pigpen-like cloud of disappointed people in their wake.  You know the type.  They never have to wait in line; they are the last to arrive and will wait to confirm plans, just in case they get a better offer.

The rest of us, while certainly running late from time to time (or every week when you’re supposed to be writing for The Metro Spirit), try to arrive when expected, so as to not upset anyone or throw off a schedule.

So, back to that ride to school this morning.  The kids barely had their doors closed when I started down the driveway.  I wasn’t really speeding, but we weren’t crawling, either.  At this point, I was just certain we were going to miss the 8:25 bell.  Is passing someone on a residential street with a double yellow line illegal?  What if I was only going about 20 when I seemingly whipped past them?  I mean, they were stopping at every bump and crack in the road.  I guess they were trying to protect those shiny rims.  I’m no mechanic, but things might be a little easier if your car wasn’t so low to the ground.

We got every green light, and the traffic even seemed lighter than usual.  Somehow, we pulled into the carpool line right as the 8:25 bell was ringing.  The only thing in our way now, was a line of cars, instructed to stop and go at certain marked places.  I apologize and repent for the thoughts I had about the person who held up traffic in line, even though every single person was waving them through.  GO.

We had a pep talk about getting out of bed a little earlier, not taking so much time to eat breakfast and knowing where our belongings are each morning.  We simply don’t have time to look for book bags and folders each day.  We agreed that this was just a bad start to the day, but it could only get better.  I told The Kids I loved them, patting them on the back as they got out.  They loved me back.  Just before closing the door, The Boy said “Mama, it might help if we didn’t have to wait while you look for your keys.”  Touché.

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