Monday, September 8, 2008

the village

We live about three unwalkable miles from Bug's preschool. The only family I'm aware of who lives nearby and uses the same preschool can't carpool. She has toddlers who need to be belted into car seats. We're past car seats and into boosters these days. It's annoying that we can't simplify the drive. I carpooled when Pook attended that often and am not interested in ten drives a week past 13 (yes, I've counted) stoplights each direction.

Our carpool to the elementary school was creative last year. Two families took turns picking up Pook from school but I drove children from a different family every morning. The family of the morning kids (J&M) tried to make their schedule simpler this fall and we've been driving together both ways each day so far. I'm happy to drive every morning if it means Bug can take a nap. Unfortunately they just informed me that the schedule isn't working and they're going to have to enroll J&M in after school care. That means no carpool.

That means twenty short, annoying drives a week. I'm searching. I've checked with all the neighbors I know. Everyone is settled into their routines. There are none on our street who use public school now that our next door neighbors are gone. I'm looking. I'm feeling desperate.

I need a village. I don't want to be alone in caring for my kids. I'm frustrated that I don't have anyone to share the burden of driving. I'm frustrated that they have no one else to entertain them. Someone the kids can play with that doesn't need an invitation each time. Someone I can ask for help from without keeping tabs on who owes whom. I don't even need the whole village. Just one family.

1 comment:

  1. Our subdivision, which is technically a village, tried to organize a carpool to AJ's school last year. I opted out, because I wanted to walk and bike there with AJ as much as possible -- we do it every day, unless the weather is awful or, like today, AJ has to bring a bagful of rocks to school. But frequently, i would find myself standing on the playground after hours helping some child look for a parent who never showed. This year, they seem to have given it up. This distresses me for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don't believe any of these people live much more than a mile from the school. Why aren't more children walking or biking? And second, how hard is it to carpool, really? I don't believe any of these people's schedules are all that complicated. Carpooling is just not a priority. Convenience is. This is a major barrier if we, as a society, are going to be successful at reducing fuel consumption. Interestingly, many of the neighborhood kids are jealous of AJ "getting" to walk to school. Frequently a kid will shout out at us from a car window and ask if they can walk with us. I always say yes. Good luck!