I remember the very first carpool I was in. My oldest son, two years old, was entering half-day pre-school. We were very pleased with our choice of pre-school, but we were stumped as to how we were going to get him there and back. Our wonderful nanny at the time did not yet have her driver’s license, and we both worked full-time in the opposite direction.
Somehow we learned about people in our neighborhood whose children were also attending this pre-school, and we figured out a carpool. I remember crying as I was trying to sketch out how this was all going to work – it just felt overwhelming and new and undoable.
Of course, it eventually all worked out, and except for one day when one of the fathers in the carpool forgot to pick the kids up (yes, I still remember that) it all ran pretty smoothly for the year. After that year, things start to blur a bit as to how we got our son to pre-school, but I think our nanny finally learned how to drive, and eventually, when my younger kids were going, I was also working at home as a consultant and could drive them as well.
So that oldest son is now at college and no longer in need of a carpool. In fact, I haven’t driven him anywhere for years. He was never involved in team sports, and so the clubs and activities he chose were all at school and accessible. And because he is so independent, he chose to find his own way all these years – via metro, bus, car and foot.
But, as they so often do in parenthood, the tides are once again changing, and I am about to enter my next phase of parenting. Call it the Sports Carpool phase. And I am already starting to feel those tears of overwhelmed-ness well up again.