This morning I had a disagreement with the teacher in charge of drop off for my daughters' school. Most days we walk to school, but when the weather is bad or really cold (like today) we drive. There is a kiss and go area by the main door. I pull up, get out of the car open the door for them walk them to the sidewalk and kiss them goodbye. Get back in my car, and away I go. Probably takes about one minute most days.
This morning Little Hugger had knocked her sister's backpack down while getting hers and dropped her water bottle so it took a little longer to get them out of the car. One of the teacher "helpers" came over and asked if she could help. I told her we were fine, just dropping things. She told me I needed to have them come out on the sidewalk side instead of the street side as I was doing. I told her I can't because my son's car seat is on the sidewalk side. Her response was that I need to move his seat. It's a Britax marathon not a booster that's easy to move back and forth. I told her my oldest is in 3rd grade and I've always had them get in and out on the street side. She said, "We've noticed. But it is one of the rules and we weren't sure how to break it to you."
I sent the kids off and drove to Target to pick up some stuff a bit peeved. Once I was parked I checked the school handbook - no rules about which side of the car the kids need to get out of.
At this point I was pretty annoyed and in my usual passive aggressive way continuing to do things my way. If they have a problem with it, too bad.
Then I checked Facebook. An old friend from high school posted that her older brother had passed away unexpectedly last night in his sleep. No further details. She lives in Africa, he lives in the US. Her mother died 2 years ago, her father many years ago. I can only imagine what she and her younger brother are going through right now. My heart breaks for her especially as she is so far away from her younger brother and extended family. I'm sure she's trying to get to the US ASAP.
It also made me realize my little disagreement this morning was kind of stupid. On the way to Target I had all sorts of plans of keeping doing dropoff the way that make sense to me, but after reading that I'm trying to think of a compromise.
I'm not moving my son's seat. He doesn't know how to buckle/unbuckle himself yet, so I have him on the sidewalk side to make it easier when I need to parallel park somewhere. My daughters are older and listen better when I direct them in traffic. I have everyone use the sidewalk side if they are all getting in or out. But for school, I make sure the coast is clear before I let them out of the car, and I stand between them and the street and I don't block traffic by opening my door. Still not sure what the right procedure will be, but I'm willing to try and not make such a big deal out of something that really isn't. I realize her brother's death has absolutely nothing to do with traffic safety for kids. But when reading about a tragedy like that it reminds you to not sweat the small stuff.