Audrey started her school's summer session on Monday, and even though it is the same school that she's been attending since last August, she was in for one big change. And, no, it wasn't that she would smash her face in on her first day by falling off of a swing that was one foot off the ground. She is being driven to school by a new transportation company. Which is quite a big change for someone who hates change of any kind. No more posh Lincoln Town Cars, no more suit-and-tie private drivers (that's right, no more Brian Da Limo Driver), and no more solo ride.
She now rides in a big white Suburban, with her driver Miss Greer, Miss Ebony the aid, and her old (pre-) school friend TJ who now attends the same school as Audrey.
I was stressed about this change for weeks, mainly because on top of everything else there is horrendous construction on the route to school. The school is almost 25 miles away, which is bad enough. It's a straight shot up an expressway though, and the ride was just 30-35 minutes before the construction started. Now it's a nightmare. Brian always knew where all the bottlenecks were and how to get around them, but would the new driver? Um, no.
We did a meet-and-greet the week before to prepare Audrey. OK, me. I started subtly (or maybe not) grilling them about their planned route. Miss Greer was insisting that she would never think about getting on the highway and that she would take surface streets the whole way. The hair on my legs stood on end, and I turned into the Holly Hunter character in Broadcast News. "No, here's what you want to do. Take 355 to Army Trail Road, then shoot up Route 53, cut over to the Elgin-O'Hare, and backdoor it up Meacham Road." Then I elbowed her into the passenger seat and took over the wheel.
Then she starts talking about installing a DVD player or playing music CD's during the ride, which prompted me to whip out my highest and mightiest "Do you have any familiarity with autism?" I then proceeded to enumerate all of the ways in which this could end in tragedy: Audrey would get completely stuck on the DVD/CD and not be able to make the commute without it, and then God forbid one day you forget to bring a certain DVD or CD, or it starts skipping, or you arrive at school before it reaches the end, or you start it at a different point and then the "correct" scene is not showing/song is not playing at the exact same time as it usually is when she passes a certain billboard or street sign, and then she will start melting down and you will have no earthly idea why. And why would you? Because you don't care that "The Muffin Man" is playing at the precise moment that you pass the Lube 'N Go at 55th and Belmont. But she does. Trust me, you do not even want to start down this path.
Another crisis averted. Is it any wonder that I'm constantly exhausted? Anything else that I can take care of for you while I'm at it? Hmmmm....let's see. Just spit-balling here, but you might also want to rethink those horizontal stripes, take out a home equity loan to pay off that credit card debt, and don't even think about marrying that deadbeat boyfriend of yours because he's never going to change. You're welcome.