Bad As A Mother

Are you bad as a mother?

lost on the bus

I’m not a suburbanite.

Although I wrote about feeling like oneΒ here, I still find myself unaccustomed to the strange practices that happen here in suburban America. You see, I’m from Queens. We don’t ride yellow buses to school. We walk or we ride public buses and trains with strangers. While some (mostly my husband) find the urban jungle pretty scary, I find it quite comforting. When my daughter began kindergarten (read more about that here) I simply wasn’t ready for the bus. Four days in and first time on the bus, my daughter got lost. Deep sigh.

Β Renan Kamikoga

All my teacher moms out there, you know how the communication in a school can break down fairly easily. Apparently that is what happened here. I know that nobody intentionally sent my child on an hour long ride around the neighborhood in extreme heat. I’m sure that the bus company and the school meant to read all the paperwork that I sent in detailing the protocol for dismissals. I’m sure it was just an unfortunate coincidence that the school couldn’t reach anyone in the bus company. These things happen, right? (please ignore the biting sarcasm).

The thing is, that I am a part time working mom (you can read about how much that totally sucks, here) and my entire day is carefully scheduled to line up with my daughter’s school schedule. There really is no margin for error. I rely heavily on babysitting and the kindness of others when schedules change. I give my daughter clear instructions. She knows where she will go and how long she will be there each day. But today she was on her own. I realized how unbelievably powerless and helpless I was while I attempted to locate my child with the help of a good friend who was “on the ground.”

And while everything turned out okay in the end and my daughter only suffered a mild scare, I felt like a failure. If I were home full time, this never would have happened. I know this in my bones. I would have been there to greet her at school during pickup. But I wasn’t. And so while I snuggle her and reassure her that I will make everything alright, I let the waves of guilt wash over me. Most likely I will sleep a fitful sleep filled with dreams of my girl on the wrong bus and perhaps of me heroically saving her. But in the end, I will wake up and assemble my carefully crafted daily plan and pray my hardest for everything to turn out alright.




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