It's back-to-school season, which means you're back to managing homework, packing lunches, and remembering that today is P.E. so your kid needs to wear sneakers. It also means the return of school drop-off, an elaborate process that can make even the most grown of adults cry. Thankfully, you're the Cool Mom at school drop-off, so you're unfazed. In fact, you're one of those magical creatures who makes this daily chore a pleasant experience.
Was I the Cool Mom at school-drop off? Ha. And, no. Thankfully, I don't have to deal with the shenanigans of this unruly process any longer: my kids take the bus. Thank god for the bus. Now, all I have to do is stroll to the nearby bus stop, give a hug and a kiss, and they're off. It's truly a magical experience that I, for one, do not take for granted.
But for three years, every single day, I was forced to schlep to school to home to school and back again. But as annoying as the daily journey could be, after a while I began to appreciate drop-off for what it was: a chance to connect with other parents and learn what was going on at the school. And some of the folks I met, my friends, were just cool. Here are some of the qualities they all shared, and signs that you are one of the Cool Moms at drop-off, too:
Your Car Doesn't Turn You Into A Jerk
It's a vicious cycle, people. Drop-off and pick-up is stressful and annoying, which makes you do things like, say, take up two parking spots or drive really fast in a school zone to get there on time or cut people off in the lot. And you know what? Those are exactly the kind of things that make it so stressful and annoying. It's like the whole "hurt people hurt people" adage.
But you, Cool Mom? Well, you don't do any of that. Duh. You keep your cool and remain considerate of everyone else on the road.
You Have A Rapport With The Other Parents
You may not be BFFs with everyone, but you get along with everyone just fine and you certainly have your favorites. You may not know everyone's name (who can remember 20 names?!) but you're friendly enough that you've convinced everyone that you do.
You certainly don't bring drama to the drop-off line. Inter-parent drama is a full-time job, and no one has time for that.
You understand that this process is a well-oiled machine and you're not going to be the one to muck up the gears.
The Kids Like You
You know how to talk to kids other than your own and, as a result, everyone's kids have taken a bit of a shine to you... and vice versa. Other parents appreciate the care and consideration you show their children. After all, it's hard not to like someone when they're really good with your kids, you know?
You Make Good Conversation
Look, do you sometimes just zone out in front of your phone and not talk to anyone? Of course! We all do, because sometimes we all need a few moments of digital solitude while our children are running around with their friends before the school doors open. But chances are you're going to be seeing these folks at drop-off for years to come, and it's going to be helpful to get to know them a little. So you've learned how to elevate small-talk to an art.
You Know When To Let A Conversation End
Because the line is moving and you all have places to be, people.
You Rock Your Look
Whether you're wearing a perfectly polished office look with a magnificent blowout, casual jeans and a t-shirt, or pajama bottoms and an old Garfield shirt (you do hate Mondays, after all) with a messy bun, you wear what you wear with confidence and panache. You don't worry about what other people think one way or the other, and that makes you the Cool Mom fashion plate of the drop-off line.
You Don't Hold Up The Line
Because now is not the time to talk to the teacher or have a long discussion with your child or ask a million questions of the aid bringing kids into the building. This is not your time: this is everyone's time.
You know that you're standing among a group of parents who are all just doing their best and maybe some days are going to be better than others.
You Know & Are Ready For The Protocols
You know what forms of ID need to be out (if any). You know what line to wait in and when. You know what time you're allowed to line up. You understand that this process is a well-oiled machine and you're not going to be the one to muck up the gears.
You Help Those Who Don't Know The Drill
People don't know what they don't know, so you're happy to jump in and help someone understand how everything works. Maybe they assumed (completely reasonably) that they could just let their kid out of the car and walk through the front door. They didn't know they have to go through the separate drop-off door and wait in line. Those people appreciate your being so cool and helping them learn how things are done around here.
You Don't Try To Bend The Rules
Sometimes it's cool to be a rebel, sure, but not when it comes to student drop-off. The rules are there to make sure things are fair and orderly, and God knows when you're working with small children and a whole bunch of parents who need to get to work you need fairness and order. You respect that and everyone respects you for it.
You Are Charitable & Compassionate
You know that you're standing among a group of parents who are all just doing their best and maybe some days are going to be better than others. Maybe Penny's mom Nancy took the parking space you were waiting for, or maybe Dylan's dad Nathan cut the line because he was distracted answering an email and didn't see you standing there. You might get annoyed, but you know that people make mistakes and that's OK.