The Stress, the Sweats, and the Smiles
For many of you, drop-off in the morning means nothing more than stress, sweats, and a few fake smiles.
You have just come off the marathon early morning hours where showering, feeding and prepping an entire family for the day ahead is enough to take the wind out of you. If you’re unlucky, you’ve battled some traffic to get to the school. If you are even unluckier (is that a word?? who knows), you’ve waited in a mile-long line of cars to approach the hallowed gates. And if you’ve managed to peel your Lululemon/Juicy clad bottom out of your seat to walk your child into school, you are greeted by fellow exhausted moms and dads who feel the need to fake smile at you every step of the way, even though you are all grinning through over-caffeinated lips that, in reality, are cursing the fact that you are late for work, an appointment, life, in general.
Well my Juicy clad bottom is here to recommend a different approach.
I now look at drop-off as five minutes of pure happiness and serenity to start my day off on the right foot. For starters, Little D and I play a rhyming game on the way to school every day. It occupies her, and me, and keeps both of our minds sharp for the day ahead.
I leave my cell in the car when I get there. For an “always online” mama like me, this is a simple way for me to a) disconnect from my reality and b) focus on Little D, which I regretfully don’t do enough of throughout the rest of the day.
I greet Debbie, the school receptionist, who somehow manages to know every single kid in there (and there are more than 200) by name and has a personal comment or question for each of them as they trek through the open doors day after day.
And then, I look around. Really look around.
The kids are running in random circles on the play yard, squealing with unabashed delight. The crisp Southern California morning air feels invigorating and clean. The teachers look refreshed — unlike six hours later — and are truly engaging with each and every little person that runs up to them with a request, a question or a statement about the world around them.
And Little D is smiling, ear to ear, beyond excited about seeing her friends and teachers and taking on the world outside of our cozy little house on her own yet again — or at least that’s the case on most days.
I may not be one of those moms who can stay back and gossip over coffee and donuts in the lobby, I have to rush back to my cell phone in the car, but suddenly, drop-off is doing a really good job of picking me up.