The morning drop-off process at Roberts Elementary School is conducted with military-drill precision (usually).
Here's how the procedure is supposed to work:
1) As you approach the drop-off zone, you pull as far forward as possible (there are usually five staff members lined up along the drop off zone).
2) If you end up stopped at the beginning of the zone, or the middle, and traffic is not moving, your child is supposed to go ahead and exit the car and approach the school.
That was not happening with us.
I started realizing that Wayne was procrastinating getting out of the car, even though he was ready to go and had everything he needed. Then one morning when I pulled up, a morning when Tenley was with us, I was greeted with this smile and someone who remembered Tenley's name even though it had been three years since she had been at the school:
Honestly, I think Wayne had been holding out for the waves of positive energy that Carrie Washington emits .... no matter how rushed our morning had been (they all are), how much the kids had been sniping at each other (they almost always are), or how preoccupied I was with the challenges I was already anticipating in the day ahead ...... one thing was for sure ..... for about 30 seconds we would all get a warm greeting and a wish for a happy day. Even if I am wrong about Wayne's motivation, I started to count on it and hope that the regimented precision of the drop-off process somehow deposited us at Ms. Washington's position.
In doing a little research, Carrie's supervisor said she is not unlike LaVida, who I wrote about in March. She does her job with an aura of joyfulness that suffuses even mundane interactions. Her supervisor also said, "She loves working out there in the mornings" and "She will go out of her way to help anyone." Throughout the school year, she was also responsible for transporting a hearing impaired student from Madison County and working four hours a day in the cafeteria.
I made my last drop-off ever to Roberts Elementary last Friday morning (Wayne is moving up to 6th grade at Montford Middle School).
The Kigers won't be there anymore to bask in that morning happiness, but other families will.
"Carrie" on, Carrie!
And we are put on Earth a little space, that we may learn to bear the beams of love. --William Blake