But first, kindness.

Sky has it all

Half the world is on fire, the other half is underwater, blown away or both and the council parking guy is again at our school taking pictures of people doing the most horrible of things. What would this transgression be and who are these rogue law breakers? Why it is the shameful kiss and go parents that just want to get out of their car with their kids for a quick hug good bye at their car door.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am the first to complain when someone parks there, locks the door and walks away or worse, when they pull out of the spot and do an illegal u-turn in the middle of the street, but this morning really pissed me off and here is why…

With over 700 students in this relatively small school, there are a lot of drop offs by car in the morning. The Kiss & Go area is at most 8 cars long, maybe nine if they are not SUVs. That is it. The only dedicated space to pull over and dump your darlings for their day of learning is basically an afterthought. With one catholic school and one private school in the same area as well as many homes and businesses, you can’t just find a spot up the street to park and walk either. All staff have to find spaces on that one same street because everything else around is timed parking and there is not a parking lot. The overflow of children enrolled in our highly sought after (and tightly zoned) primary school are being taught in portables located where the only faculty parking used to be. I can hear you thinking, “If the school is zoned, you must be close, why drive at all?????” and you’d be right. I’d love to ride or walk, but most mornings, for varied reasons, I just can’t.

I have heard the argument that the parking inspector provided is there for our children’s safety. The council hasn’t sent him there to keep us safe, but merely to make money off these parents who are just trying to do it all. This morning I watched and the council inspector did not photograph the car that did the illegal u-turn out of the kiss & go rank right there in front of all of us. Hell, it wasn’t even a good u-turn! There was plenty of time to grab a photo as she backed up and went forward twice. However, the lady who helped her small child lift that giant back pack out of the boot and stole one last hug (in less time than it took the u-turner) before they went their separate ways for the day, she will get a sneaky fine in the mail. I’m sure it is just what she needs.

Don’t tell me that he is there to keep things moving smoothly either because if he was, and he is there every morning, he would stand on the sidewalk by the kiss and go area and facilitate the traffic flow. Nope, he wears all black -including a beanie which makes him look like some sort of digital camera wielding special forces member- and hides under a long bit of ivy that overhangs a wall on the opposite side of the road lurking in wait for the moment he can step out catch a bad guy. I would bet you that instead of a “click”, his camera makes a “ca-ching” sound when that shutter is pressed.

I roll my eyes with the best of them when the car in front of me just stops at the curb closest to the school gate instead of driving all the way up to the end, but I am committed to taking a deep breath and getting over myself as I drive around them. Who knows what is going on in their life, but if the world at large is any indication, it is probably something difficult. I know this is a tiny problem in comparison to what the world is facing right now, but I guess that is my point. Let the mum have her last cuddle for the morning. She is within 3 meters of her car door and it isn’t taking longer than two minutes. That cuddle is so very important.

Here is my perspective thought generator… What if we all put helping others in front of monetary and personal gain? For example, what if stealth parking guy got paid to help the parents? I am certain there are enough expired parking meters that would cover his salary for an hour every weekday morning.

The world seems so jagged lately. Why are we wasting time on things that will not make this place softer for each other? Everyone is just out for themselves and it is lonely and mean. There is a giant rip in the fabric of community and I don’t know how to fix it, but I think that helping others is a good start.

So my meditation for today is BUT FIRST, KINDNESS.

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  • Jan Pritchard - I hear you!  What about if the ‘inspector’ was on the parking side. just moving/directing traffic along. It would time much better spent & keep up a more pleasant community feel, to  make sure people are doing the right thing – ie NOT doing a u-turn, than making a parent pay for a hug & kiss.September 7, 2017 – 12:34 pmReplyCancel

    • sesame - Yes. But it will never happen and this community has to take the blame for that.September 7, 2017 – 12:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Jan - I am fascinated that half a world away, school parking problems are the same. At our small, tiGhtly Zoned ELEMENTARY school a parent receNtly appointEd himself the parking inspector and began sharing Photos on social meDia with #parkingshaming when an offending parent parked in a manner the insPector (again, just a random parent) felt was out of line. Too much space bEtween cars, too little, double parking, leaving a vehicle, etc…. he of course is from the big city and knows how to park, why can we country bumpkins (town of over 100k people) figure it out?! is this the world we live in that instead of Searching for common solutions we instead instantly juMp to place blame and point fingers at the “wRongs”? But first, kindness indeed. And all after an entire school year with an express focus on kindness at the school. Children seem to be catching on. The adults Need work. September 7, 2017 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel