Milestones To Maturity: Turning Off the Child Safety Locks

The kids started school this year in a new school because we moved across town and into a different school district.

Maybe I’m somewhat overprotective (in a grandparent sort of way) in trying to create a stable home for the kids. So, changes worry me, and changes at school can be a big deal for the kids.

But, the first few days at the new school have proceeded without incident and maybe “change” is really more difficult for me than it is for the kids.

I drive the kids to school each day and it is a task I enjoy doing. I like to walk them to their classes on the first day of school and greet their teacher and see where their desks will be located in their new classrooms.

Since they started attending a new school and didn’t know their way around the building, for the first few days I parked the car in the school parking lot and walked with them to their classes.

One morning during the drive to school, Kaleb informed me he wanted me to drop them off rather than walk in with them. Reluctantly, I steered the car to the student drop-off lane instead of driving into the school parking lot.

There were no other cars in the drop-off line so I drove right up in front of the building, stopped the car, unlocked the doors and waited for the school personnel coordinating the drop-off to come and open the car doors for my kids to get out of the car.

After all, that’s they way they did it at their previous school.

Evidently, the new school doesn’t provide valet service. Instead of stepping over to let my kids out of the car, the school personnel began signaling for me to get out of the way.

That’s when I started to realize that this school must expect the kids to get out of the car on their own.

Unfortunately, this expectation created an unexpected predicament for me: the child safety locks were on! For the kids to get out, the car doors had to be opened by someone from outside of the car!

In fact, there’s never been a time since I purchased that vehicle five years ago when the kids were just toddlers that the child safety locks haven’t been activated.

As the line of cars behind me began to accumulate and the school personnel became more animated in waving me out of the way, I knew what I had to do. In desperation, I leaped out of the car and opened the car door for Kaleb to get out and then dashed around to the other side of the car to open the door for Kenzie to get out.

Kenzie had taken her shoes off during the car ride to school and I stood there with the car door open flustered and impatiently waiting while she nonchalantly put her shoes back on. Nervously, I glanced behind me and noticed that kids were exiting out of car doors from the several cars stacked up in the line behind me. As the little princess was getting out of the car, I looked down and noticed the yellow markings on the pavement indicating I was stopped in the middle of the crosswalk in front of the building.

Hmmm….that must be why the school personnel were frantically motioning for me to move my vehicle.

Not only was I holding up the line of cars in the drop-off line, I was also blocking the way for kids coming in from the parking lot!

Apparently, I have reached another milestone in this adventure of raising kids the second time around.

I’ve got to realize the K’s are growing up.

So, it’s the end of an era–the close of the child-safety-lock stage.

To let them come of age (and to avoid further embarrassment in the school drop-off line), the time has finally come for me to turn off the child safety locks on the car doors.

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