I’m beginning to wonder if I am outnumbered.
I would like to think I am not the only one bothered … frustrated, actually, by the behavior I see adults exercise when dropping their children off at school. The up side is I know I am not the only one. This topic happens to be one my friends and I engage in – often.
So, why (you might wonder) keep writing about it? It is the Holiday season after all, there has to be something more pleasant for me to cover. Something to warm the hearts of our readers and give them that ‘feel good’ rush we all love so much.
Sadly, the problem here is two fold. It begins when an optimist became a Mama Bear and thus you have… Teresa Hammond. The second part would be the two amazing creatures, which make this season so magical - they’re my children. You know, the children, the ones in the crosswalks trusting the ‘grown-ups’ to make the right decisions?
My most recent frustration comes in the way of the designated ‘drop off’ areas at each of our school sites. The display of selfishness and self-entitlement I witness in this area of our schools each morning is just plain saddening.
Do people really need to be told you are not to park in the yellow painted areas? Do we really think it’s okay to extend your time in said area to have a phone call or check your Facebook as others wait behind you to drop off their children? Then there is the additional Red Zone designated for fire trucks, which many like to mistake as the area for ‘exceptions to the rule’ (i.e.: them).
Yes, I guess it would be a fair assessment to say I have a little bit of energy about this topic.
In a day and age when I am doing my absolute best to not raise self-centered/self-absorbed children, it’s hard to tactfully explain why one family can park in a place that others wait in line to visit for less than a minute.
The plus side is that I am not a sugar coated mom. Pretty much the previous sentence is something I would actually say to my children.
“Sometimes people think their time is more precious than ours,” I have been known to mutter in the drop off. Quickly followed by, “Maybe they have a family emergency and could not make it to the spot a half block away. But, it’s not okay.”
I believe we live in a world of laws and rules and the sooner we teach our children to respect and honor them, the better off we all are.
Sure, I get it, there are days we are late. There are days we need to pop into the office to drop something off. There are even days that something gets left in the car and we just need to ‘run it to our kid real quick.’
But guess what? Speaking for myself and the other seven parents waiting patiently behind me to drop off our children … well, we don’t care. Rules and guidelines are in place for a reason, you are not the exception.
One morning, as I exited the War Zone (commonly known as the drop-off) a thought crossed my mind - common sense is no longer common.
Think about it, a minute. This is a sad but true statement. I witness it in grocery stores, the Post Office, or even just driving. Generally speaking, people no longer think; they just do. Consequences for actions are no longer considered by the mass majority, especially when it does not affect them directly. The attitude of ‘not my problem,’ sadly is much too prevalent in our society. An attitude that is now being passed to another generation.
The good news is, there are still a handful of us who see this and are raising children against the now-common grain of ‘it’s all about me.’ Somehow, we find one another and so too, do our kids. As the optimist, I have faith in that handful of families and hope that someday we once again become the majority rather than the minority.
Until then, I will confess. I am not perfect, nor are my kids. We do our fair share of frustrating others as we navigate our way through life. However we never operate from a place of thinking we are better than or above another person. We, the Hammond family, will never be the exception. We will always be (and defer to) the rule.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.