Last week at my sons’ elementary school, a teacher informed me I could not stand in front of my child’s classroom before school during the drop off. “No parents in the corridor,” exclaimed the teacher in my general direction. Really? Am I the enemy now?
Throughout the year, I have let of number of things roll off me. I’ve seen freshly painted lines and arrows in the parking lot, newly installed signs, fences and video cameras, and memos to read and surveys to complete in my kids’ folders. Volunteer parents dictate the rules of the parking lot, and parking spaces now carry time limits. So many rules and regulations, all in the name of heightened security and safety. I’ve shrugged off the thought that our tax dollars could perhaps be better spent on, oh I don’t know, books. These days, how can we argue with safety?
Never mind the real elephant in the parking lot, the official drop off/pick up site. This is just an accident waiting to happen. The cross walk is situated where kids most likely could be hit. The other day, I almost lost it, yelling at a parent, “I am so soooorrrry.” I very nearly came this close, this close, readers, to honking my horn at her, a Desperate Housewives moment.
Directly before pick up, parents and guardians have been trained to stay away from the classroom. We now have a designated waiting area. The reason being is that it will cut back on unnecessary noise and conversational chatter affecting the students’ learning. So with this, in the name of learning and education, I am on board. This is a logical and a reasonable request.
But to not give my child a kiss before class, this is the last straw. I mean don’t they know my days are numbered? When I step on campus with my fourth grader, I suddenly turn into invisible mom. Who knew I had such superpowers? But my seven-year-old, he stills needs me…
We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of this post, as this blogger’s thought process has wildly thrown off course…
Dear readers, on Mother’s Day, of all days, I read an email about a missing teen, a high school student, who happens to belong to the same water polo club as my son. They don’t know each other, as she is quite a bit older. She’s a high school student, who went missing during school hours.
This announcement stopped me in my tracks for a number of reasons. First, I thought about this mother not knowing the whereabouts of her daughter. There are no words for the despair these parents must feel. I’m not even going to try to put words around this, but know it must be a living hell, a parent’s worst nightmare. I understand this teen is considered at risk and requires medication. I don’t know the circumstances around her disappearance, but that she went missing during school hours, a time in which we expect our kids are supervised, their whereabouts accounted for.
This high school is also where my son practices water polo twice a week. It has occurred to me on a number of occasions that it hasn’t felt safe. The restrooms are located in a dark hallway, accessible to anyone. Now I will forever be watchful, guarded, suspicious, as maybe I should have always been. I have never met this missing teenager, but have shed tears for her, hoping for her safe return.
In the meantime, I can’t help but feel all these enhancements of new signs and fences are superficial band-aides. They may enforce a rule that no parents are allowed in the corridor without a badge. I’m sure it’s coming, and I will abide as a good parent will.
But they can’t take my kiss away. If my kid needs a kiss, he will get one, even if it’s in the parking lot.
photo credit: miuenski via photopin cc