The 2 Minute Difference

Brendan can be dropped off at school between 8:15 and 8:25.  Cameron can be dropped off between 8:25 and 8:30.  It takes 3-5 minutes to get to Brendan’s school from our house, and 8-10 minutes to get from Brendan’s school to Cameron’s.  Logically that should mean as long as we leave our house between 8:10 and 8:15 I should have enough time to get both boys to school, right?

Wrong.

What a difference 2 minutes can make.  My goal is to always get out of the house by 8:10.  That gives me the widest window to drop of the kids, and I don’t feel rushed.  But in the past couple weeks it seemed like we couldn’t get out the door before 8:12.  Just 2 minutes later than planned.  But that 2 minutes made all the difference in the world.  8:12 seems to be the time of morning that everyone leaves to take their children to Brendan’s school.  When we leave at 8:10 there are usually 3-5 cars in front of us in the drop off lane at school, and the crossing guards are just getting to their posts.  It takes me less than 5 minutes to get to the front of the dropoff lane and let Brendan out.  When we leave at 8:12, the cars are backed up for over 2 blocks most days, and it takes over 10 minutes to get to the point that I can let Brendan out of the car.

Even with the 2 minute difference I have no trouble getting Brendan to school on time.  Cameron is another story.  Leaving home at 8:10 means we are done with Brendan’s school around 8:16 which leaves me 14 minutes to get to Cameron’s school, and as I said above it only takes 8-10 minutes so that is a nice window with some cushion in it.  When we leave at 8:12, we don’t get done with Brendan’s school until at least 8:22 or later which leaves almost no window.  And the later it gets, the more traffic there is between the two schools and guarantees I’ll hit the long side of the time it takes to get between the two.

The result is that if we leave home just 2 minutes late in the morning I will arrive at Cameron’s school 10 minutes later than if I left on time.  It is truly amazing to me what a difference that 2 minutes makes.  I was starting to think I was crazy and imagining it, but I did everything humanly possible to leave on time today and managed to get out the door by the appointed 8:10 and sure enough I arrived at Cameron’s school early enough that we had to wait before they’d let him into his classroom, whereas last week he was about 5 minutes late every morning.

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