Zo’s seatbelt got stuck, and that’s when the trouble started.
We pull up every morning to the line in front of her school. One way in, one way out. I throw the car into [P]ark, and I wait for her to unbuckle, grab her things, open the door, and get out. I am not allowed (according to copious signage in multiple languages) to get out of the car and help her.
But her seatbelt buckle got stuck, and from the back of our four-door sedan I hear, “Mama, help?”
So I unbuckled and with my shortie short lady arms I managed to wrangle her out of her booster seat. After that she truly is on her own, getting her unicorn backpack, her unicorn lunchbox, Elsa-from-Frozen jacket, and an adult-sized Nissan Altima door open. Thwew. I don’t know how she does it. I admire her for it every day.
I admire her for it. The mom sitting behind us in the hulking black truck — does not.
Zo started as I said, “Ignore her, just go. Go. Go.” And off she went, sprinting for class, even though she wasn’t late. I cast a glance at the truck, and then I saw her. I saw the Other Mom.