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I Am da Driver

As of three weeks ago, the dynamic of my morning commute changed drastically. My son's usual transport to school in the mornings let us know he just can't do it anymore, five days a week every week. So now I share the effort with this person. The problem is that my son's school is 25 minutes north of where I live, which is just north of the Bronx, and forever to Chelsea where I work.

What's a dad to do? My son has to be at school very early so if I time it just perfectly I can get him to school, get back home to my neighborhood, catch whatever bus or train is there when I get there and then get to work fifteen to twenty minutes late.

At first, this worked perfectly. Not so much anymore. My son's diligence in waking up on time to get to school has deteriorated now that he's full into his football season and refuses to go to bed just as any kid his age does. So where does this leave me? Going nowhere slowly.

Here's the math: It takes me roughly an hour to take my son to school and get back home to drop off my car to my wife so she can take the baby to the sitter at her leisure (she doesn't have to be at her desk until 10). It takes me anywhere from another 60 to 90 minutes to get to work. By 9:30 am, I've been up since 6 am (or earlier on nights I can't sleep) and spent two and half hours commuting into work. In the evening, I'm bolting out of my job to get to the sitter before she closes for the night to then drive to pick up my son from football practice. Tack on another two and a half hours during crushing, cursing, stinking, miserable rush hour and I'm home most nights just before 8 pm.

Here's a question: WHAT IN GOD'S NAME AM I DOING?

When do I have time to work out? When do I have time to eat breakfast. When do I have time to think? I have been late to work for 13 days straight. I don't even humbly walk through the door anymore. I'm just as indignant and angry as I want to be by the time I collapse into my seat.

Curiously enough I lost my appetite three weeks ago. This occurred around the same time I encountered a slight case of strep throat. Initially, I dismissed it as having to do with the strep. But three weeks and a bunch of antibiotics later and I still have little to no desire to eat. My body isn't a fan of mine right now. I'm living my life in the brief shades of day and night.

At work, one of the only other men on the premises talks to me about how his mother picks up his nieces and nephews after school. Another colleague is a grandmother and talks constantly about her "baby" and makes sure she's home before she gets home. Back in the day my own grandpa used to take me to school and drop me home when my mom was taking a crosstown bus to her teaching gig. Sometimes why I wonder why I don't have this kind of support --- the kind I don't have to ask for because the family elders are fighting to spend time with the kiddies. My own folks appear to be this type, but they are in Chicago. I guess it's a sign of the times and the economy, like everything else. A whole lot of people have less than I do and the kids at my non-profit don't have anything at all. So I have no choice but to count myself blessed. But that doesn't stop my situation from being crazy.

Is anyone else out there wasting away for hours at a time on a daily basis, commuting and transporting little people?

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