I just have a lot to say.
May 29th, 2014 by

The Road Often Traveled (or Time Well Spent)

The Conner Carpool

August 3, 1999 – May 29, 2014


Dear Carpool,

We have shared countless hours as we traveled a bazillion miles together along the same route from home to school to home (especially from fall 2005 to January 24, 2010, when the kids were at two different schools).

Chuck has always enjoyed taking the kids to school in the mornings, so you and I bonded every afternoon for 15 years. In the beginning, you shepherded the girls at Girard Elementary, while the little brother typically napped in his car seat. Then, the school zones changed, and I visited with you at Landmark Elementary and later at Montana Street, in the line that made the entire square around the block. I would work on my weekly Bible study lessons while waiting with you.

Remember when Emma told me she wished I would get a job, so that she could go to Extended Day and play on the playground with her friends whose moms worked?

Remember when Abby spent some of her book fair money to buy a little Cat in the Hat to hang from the rearview mirror, so my white Dodge Grand Caravan would be recognizable from all the other white Dodge Grand Caravans in your line? Remember how queasy it made me at first, swinging back and forth, but how I couldn’t take it down, because it was such a thoughtful gift?

Remember when a crying Phillip slammed the van door and declared, “This was the worst day of my life!!! First, it rained, so we couldn’t go out to recess, then I COULDN’T GET MY STRAW IN MY JUICE BOX!!!!” Remember how the girls and I held back the squalling laughter and pretended to mourn with him over his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

Remember Gas Station Fridays?

Remember when Chuck got a new truck and sold my van and gave me the Yukon XL to drive? Remember all those curbs I jumped?

Remember how we listened to Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana sing, “I’ve got the be-e-est of both worlds” on Radio Disney every day for the entire three years that the girls went to Carver Middle School? Remember how I thought I was gonna self-destruct if I ever heard that song again?

Remember that I brought Gracie home, too, and that she was the only one who would give me the middle school gossip?

Remember how the middle school girls categorized the other middle schoolers?

Plastics – The kids who think they’re all that

Paper Bags – The kids who wish they were Plastics

Normal Kids – Well, as “Normal” as middle school kids can be

Wall Ballers – The kids who are so outcast that they actually play wall ball at break or PE (and don’t care about the opinions of the kids in the “higher” categories)

Remember how embarrassed Normal-Kid Emma was that Abby was a Wall Baller?

Remember when the girls instituted the Boys in the Back rule? Remember how they hollered it every time Phillip and a friend got in the car? (The rule still exists today, even though the boys’ legs are so long that they tangle in the back seat, yet the boys have never thought to question The Word of the Sisters.)

Remember, “Sure, my mom will take you home. BOYS IN THE BACK!”?

Remember when the girls started driving and Phillip got to ride shotgun every day?

Remember how my autopilot went from band practice to Bradley’s house to home on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during football season?

Remember how I stepped out of the car and walked around to the passenger’s side each day at Northview High School this year and asked, “Do you have your permit?”

Do you remember all that, Carpool? I do. I remember every bit of it.

We’ve been a good team, you and I, for a long time. And now we’re parting ways.

I doubt I’ll miss you, but I will always remember you fondly. I sure am grateful that I had the privilege of knowing you.

Rest in peace, Conner Carpool.



The Last Carpool


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