Getting directions home from NYC, I asked about taking the Merritt Parkway.
“Don’t do that,” said my cousin. “It’s gorgeous and has all these fabulous bridges, but it’s a super-highway for soccer moms.”
This year I became a soccer mom in the literal way–one of my kids took up soccer.
But lately I’ve found myself caught on the twisting Angelborough roads behind super-slow vehicles, a construction truck or the car driven by the 95-year-old man whose head is not visible over the back of the front seat, but whose hat is. These are folks doing 20 in a 35 zone because that’s all they can.
I’m okay with that (to a certain extent) but when it happened four times in the same week, I wondered if maybe I’m not in too much of a hurry.
Because everything is ten miles away from Angelborough, and because invariably any two adjacent activities on the schedule are in two different directions from Angelborough, I have the timing engraved in my head. It takes fifteen minutes to get to Kiddo#2’s horses, twenty-five minutes to get to Kiddo#1’s group activities, twenty minutes to get to swim lessons (and 35 minutes to get from the group activity to the swim lessons.)
What’s happened to me? The combination of four kids who can never get into the car at the same time, plus one two-year-old who finds it unendingly hilarious to get into someone else’s seat in the car (“I’m Dada! I’m Dada! Hahahaha!”) plus the inevitable trip upstairs to find the thing I forgot to bring with us on this trip–that happened.
Then I get behind the driver doing fifteen miles per hour under the speed limit (“Oh, sweetie, thirty-five is only the maximum they recommend driving!”) and I tell myself it’s not a big deal.
But it is.
I used to be the person who arrived early enough to help the instructor set up. Nowadays, I arrive two minutes after the start. I’m a J-type. I don’t like to be late, and it raises my blood pressure.
They put up a sign with a radar gun on Main Street, and I was stunned to read the following:
The speed limit is:
I checked the speedometer, horrified, but it said 40.
The next time I passed, I was doing 35 and it claimed I was doing 45. We figured out later that it got confused by the cars in the other direction because it would jump from 32 to 50 when someone passed me. I saw in my rear-view mirror when it clocked a phantom driver at 67 MPH as I was going home and no one was approaching it.
But really, have I become that soccer mom with the cup of coffee clutched in one hand and cell phone in the other, blazing around curves in her minivan while texting the gymnastics coach that she’s going to be five minutes late? (Other than the fact that I don’t use a cell phone, of course.)
I’m slowing down. If I’m late, I’m late. I hate that, but it’s better for everyone.