Sitting In The Shuttle
Early last week, just a bit after 2 p.m. the reality of my life hit me.
Yes, almost 12 years since becoming a ‘mom,’ I had a long enough nanosecond to see and accept my life as a Shuttle Driver and then … I gave thanks.
It’s not a new job. I’ve been shuttling kids since the day I left the hospital with the eldest of my two, but sometimes we get so busy we forget to see.
Often times I leave the office with a quick, “off to my first job,” as I head to my car. That is the truth of the matter. My first job never truly ends. It starts around 5:30 each morning, as I rise to sneak in a few ‘me’ moments before breakfast duty begins. Somedays, that ‘me’ time is in sneakers and others it’s spent with a cup of coffee and my laptop on my lap as I write. Yes, while the world sleeps, I write or run or sometimes I sit in a heated room where we ‘Namaste.’
All this, however, is secondary to the two resting souls just a few feet down the hall from our master bedroom. They are job Numero Uno, every single day.
So last week, as I loaded my notebook and notes into the back seat of my shuttle and looked over my dashboard, I chuckled. No rest for the weary, work hard, play hard and all other clever quotes creeped into my head. Both kids had places to be, but first they needed the shuttle.
As I texted the itinerary to PIC he quickly replied, “Busy, Busy, don’t forget to relax and rest a bit mommy.”
As most moms know, that would have to wait. This is what we do. We ‘roll,’ so to speak, from one chore/responsibility to the next. We pass one another as we travel the roads which get us from A to B to C, etc. If we’re lucky, we cross a couple people who let us turn in front of them, wait for us to cross the street, or wave from their passing window.
Yes, the life of a shuttle driver is chaotic but it is also extremely rewarding. We take joy in the simplest of moments. We don’t ask for much. Maybe a little conversation in the car, a quick Karaoke moment or on the tough days ... silence.
Our job doesn’t end when the shuttle is placed in the park position, that’s when the real work begins. All the other hats are waiting on the other side of the door in the final destination location we call ‘home.’
In the end I think it comes down to where I started with this thought on “Shuttling,” it comes to gratitude.
It is exhausting more days than not, if we’re being completely honest.
Then I look to my mentor mommies. The ones whose children now drive themselves. They are no longer privy to that catch up time as they shuttle through town. Their kids now come and go as they please, have plans that don’t include them and some are away at college.
So, when I look over that dashboard, that’s where my head goes. Someday I’ll miss these moments. Someday I’ll be chasing after them or asking them for lunch dates. Growth and independence is part of this parenting gig. That’s what we’re supposed to prepare them with. Until then I’ll just hope to be waved on by a passing motorist and wave at as many shuttle drivers as humanly possible.
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.