An ode to my car.
After the alarm, the insane rush to get the kids up, dressed and breakfasted. After the packing of the car with too many bags for people and squeezing the kids in to get them to the childcare at 7.30 in the morning. After I get back in the car after settling them at nursery. After all that and before the million miles per hour life that is work, that is my time. Me and my impossibly impractical car. Me and my reliably unreliable car. My vehicle that carries me to work, when it feels like it.
My car has always embodied freedom to me. As a teenager, it was freedom to get away, to explore the world, to give me a chance to see what would become such a central part of my vocation - geography. Now a days, my car is still freedom. It's the only time I get to myself. That 40mins morning and evening between me and work. The only time in my life I am truly alone. My thinking space. I sing in the morning to warm my voice up for the working day but I also sing coz it makes me happy.
My car is unpredictable. It has moods. It has broken down...many times but most notably it broke down both times I had a baby. It got postnatal depression. It also threatened to catch fire just before I had my second baby (I think it knew what was about to happen). I had to call the fire bridge and everything but it's ok. It still works, sometimes.
I plan in my car. I come up with mad cap schemes that end up really pushing forward my department. Sometimes I wish I could catch a train, to get more work done, to actually get to work on time on the odd occasion but, at the end of the day, I think my car has become more a part of the school than I have. Everyone knows my car. When I returned from my second maternity leave one guy didn't say welcome back to me but he said it was nice to see my car back in the car park. My car represents the unpredictability of my profession. It reminds me that it doesn't matter how annoying, unreliable and down right inconvenient some things can be in teaching, everything has its worth. Everything and everyone is worthy of time and effort.
So that is how I get from bed to work, in my annoying, unreliable, scary, glorious and joyful old classic mini.