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9.12.2017

Open Letter to That Angry Mom in the School Drop-off Line

Open Letter to That Angry Mom in the School Drop-off Line

Most mornings, I drop my kid off at school on my way to work. Sure, I could make him walk. Our community is designed to be able to walk or bike everywhere, especially school. But, I enjoy the few extra minutes with him.

I've heard the horror stories about school drop off lines from other parents. I read them on Facebook, too. Besides the stress I put on myself with the line backing up while my kid says his 100th goodbye, it's been a breeze. Pull in, kick him out, drive off. The principle is even outside directing traffic.

Open Letter to That Angry Mom in the School Drop-off Line

What I'm about to share was not my experience, but what I witnessed.

Dear Tailgating Mom in the White Mini Van,

I'm not sure you realize how ridiculous you were tailgating the person in front of you down a side street. The side street littered with kids walking to the school at the end of it. I noticed your aggressive driving. My son did, too. 

Maybe you were unaware that all of the side streets in our neighborhood are 25 miles per hour. And, the person you were trying to pass seemed to be going the speed limit. I can only assume since I was going the speed limit and didn't catch up to you until you stopped for the light. Your anger with the driver in front of you seemed out of line.

Students are supposed to be in their first class by five after eight. Even at a stopped light mine had a good ten minutes to get to class. Of course, at this point, I didn't know that you were heading to the school drop-off line like myself or like the person in front of you. This was an opportunity for me to express to my kid my desire to not let other people piss me off so I don't behave like a crazy person. 

While I've had those moments of sheer frustration over the person driving in front of me, I don't think I've ever tried to pass them on a crowded side street. I may have tailgated a little and certainly shouted many foul words over the years. Watching you, I'm going to be more diligent controlling my temper. 

I was not surprised to see the car in front of you pull into the school drop off line. I was also not surprised to see you still attached to that person's bumper as you followed the line. I was disappointed that in your rush to take your kid to school, that you behaved this way. Glad for the teachable moment.

I'm also confused by your apparent rush to get your kid to school. 

I didn't see your kid (or kids) jump out of the car and rush to the doors. Instead, you waited in the line until you could pull up directly in front of the door to the school. 

You waited for the person you were so angry with to let their kids get out and pull out of line before you moved up. Not only that, but I was able to pull beside you after dropping my kid off and I let the woman go ahead of me. Did I mention my kid says goodbye like a hundred times? Your kids still had not gotten out. What was the rush if they weren't ready to jump out of your car?

If I'm in that much of a rush to get my kid to school because he is late, he better be ready to jump out. I'll toss him his bag as I drive away. 

In case you are unsure of who I am, I pulled next to you so I could look directly at you. I was praying you were not someone I knew at the school. 

I would like to say, "thank you."

Thank you for showing me how ugly road rage is especially in line at our children's school. Thank you for helping me see that I can do more to lead by example. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say something kind to the mom you were harassing. And, thank you for helping me want to try to be a better driver. 

And, as judgy as I sound, I know I'm not perfect and we all have bad days. Last year, parents of a kid I volunteered with said I was a bully to their kid. Of course, they waited until the end of the year. And no, they didn't talk to me directly. They emailed the director that made the suggestion she might be better off tutored at home and just copied me on their response. I bent over backwards to get that kid interetsted. Never a word from the parents until they had something nasty to say. I get rage. I don't get waiting until the rage makes you say mean things or run over people.

Anyway...

My thought is I don't know the whole story between the two of you. Maybe she cut you off or ran over your cat. I don't know. But, I am happy that I could witness this so I can try to be a better person while driving. 

Kind regards,
the mom behind you



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