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Many of the parents in the car-pool lane at KIP have to drop off multiple kids to multiple locations. When I look at them, I marvel at their ability to juggle overlapping schedules and feel a little guilty (and a lot grateful) for my own lazy schedule. And rather naturally I suppose, I wonder if I could manage it myself. Could I juggle two?

I’ll let you know Tuesday, which just happens to be little Agotich Akech Kwai’s first day in the toddler room at Adath Jeshurun preschool. My friend Gabriel took his newly reunited family to visit the rabbi at Adath Jeshurun early last week, and at some point, the rabbi offered Gabriel and Alek a spot for Agotich at their preschool. She’s the right age for their 14-18 month program, and the synagogue would love to have her for two days a week if they are interested.

Well, Gabriel and Alek are very interested (Alek is eager to start ESL and GED classes, and for heaven’s sake the woman has been on solo-parenting duty for 18 months straight), but they also have a transportation issue. Gabriel has to be at work by 8:00, and Alek doesn’t drive. If they are to take up the congregation of this very kind offer, they will need some help. Ideally, they will have a friend with a flexible schedule, who lives four miles up the road from them, and who passes AJ every single day on the way to drop off her own child at KIP. Someone, that is, like me.

So, starting tomorrow, Jim and Evie’s old car-seat moves into the back of our car. Shary at KIP has agreed to have a staff member escort Simon to his class two days a week so I can drop him off without hauling a (probably screaming) 18-month-old up the stairs with me, and I’ve gotten the kind folks at AJ to agree to a slightly irregular pick-up time so I don’t have to figure out how to literally be at two places at once.

Simon, ever possessive of me and currently adversarial to the younger set, is going to hate this. Which, in a way, adds to the plan’s appeal. It will be good for him to have to help and share. I’m sure at the beginning this will be hard for me, too. I’ve never done it before, and Agotich doesn’t know me (yet). Not to mention that fact that Gabriel’s proposed drop-off time at my house is my normal wake-up time! But I’m cautiously optimistic that within a few weeks, this will be old hat to me and I’ll be “Auntie Jessica” to Agotich.

One Response to “Juggling”

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m sure Auntie Jessica will soon become a favorite. As to Simon, maybe having a talk about helping friends? Since Simon is so empathetic, you might talk to him about being a “big brother” to Agotich and how hard it is going to be for her since she’s just moved from Africa, doesn’t know anyone, doesn’t know the language, etc. I find appealing to kids’ empathy usually works.

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