Earlier this school year, Jaden asked me if I would drive him to school. My immediate answer was, “No.” It was hard enough getting all three boys out the door with the little time I had in the morning. I wasn’t about to add another task to the agenda.
Then, during the month of December I found myself in between jobs and without a good excuse why I couldn’t drive him to school in the morning.
Just to be clear, I literally roll out of bed at 6:30 a.m. with no bra. Then stumble to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee, grab my water bottle, cover post-triplet-no-bra-self up with my winter coat and get in the car. I’m not pretty. But who am I trying to impress in the drop off line at a middle school anyway?
It didn’t take many mornings for me to actually enjoy taking Jaden to school.
Driving my middle schooler to school isn’t a chore, it’s a choice. One that I’d do over and over again.
Those 15 minutes are daily one-on-one time with my teenager. No phones, no escapes, just me and Jaden.
We have one rule. If I’m going to drive him to school, he needs to tell me he loves me (like he means it) before he gets out of the car. If he forgets, I have permission to call something embarrassing out the window after him.
There are the occasional mornings where the conversation can lean more on the lecture side. Topics including maturity, why keeping his room clean is an acceptable chore or why wearing a new shirt every day isn’t negotiable.
But most mornings I learn something new, small but still new, about his friends. Or the two of us make fun of each other. He usually plays that dumb TikTok circle game where he holds his hand in the “OK” sign. When I look at it, he slugs me. He doesn’t hit me hard, but just enough for me to flash him a “did you just hit your mama” look. He giggles and I love it.
I wasn’t thrilled about the extra chore at first, but it’s now part of our morning routine.
Working full time, I often feel guilty about the after school time I miss with my kids. Taking the extra 15 minutes each morning to spoil Jaden is a gift I can give him. I hope he looks back on these school mornings knowing just how much I love him.