Crossing Guard Action

art by George Hughes, cover from Saturday Evening Post

Today is the first day of school for lots of kids in the area.  I forgot until this morning that that also means something for me.  It means that my friendly, neighborhood crossing guards are back.

There are two crossing guards on my way to work–one near my house and one a few blocks from the library.  They wouldn’t be a big part of my life if I tended to leave earlier for work, but I don’t and they are.

The crossing guard by the library is particularly memorable.  She has a neon vest, hat, gloves (complete with mini-stop signs on the palm), a different color neon belt, and shiny reflector shoes.  When it’s rainy or cold, she has neon gear for the appropriate weather, too.

The amazing amount of gear is actually only a small part of what makes this guard memorable.  The real craziness is that she’s posted at a spot where I’ve only ever seen one child (or person of any age) crossing the road.  She thinks she’s in charge of traffic regardless of whether children are crossing the street, and she often gives conflicting messages.  She’ll tell you to go and then angrily gesticulate at you when you do.  Or she’ll make you stop when there aren’t any other cars in the area.  Or, and this takes the prize, she’ll tell you to go when a child is in the cross walk.  That one didn’t happen to me, but it did happen to a co-worker.  Now my morning commute will require an extra deep breath or two, that’s for sure.

While I’m practicing my deep breathing, I’ll also be ignoring the fact that I’m an empty nester.  You watch them grow up (for an entire month and a half), and then they leave you.  Sigh.  I’ve been officially sans-roommate for 44 hours.  I’m very much looking forward to eating straight out of the giant yogurt container again and leaving laundry in the dryer for weeks, and my body is grateful for the extra sleep that might happen now that wedding planning isn’t part of my life.  None of that is really a substitute for having a good friend around though.

Maybe I’ll invite the crossing guard over.  We can become friends, and then I can gently suggest that she take a refresher course in crossing guard duties.  Or I could make her stay up so late talking that she’ll be too tired to work zealously the next day.  See, there are plenty of options if you’re resourceful.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Clarke says:

    I take a different route to work so I can avoid dealing with crossing guards in the morning. I suppose they serve some purpose, I just don’t know what it is yet.

    1. Good call, Steve. I can eliminate one crossing guard by using a different route. The one by the library is unavoidable though.

  2. jen says:

    I miss the lovely pinksweater cottage and you as my temporary roomie! Although I’ll bet Peanut doesn’t mind the extra space and his master (mistress? sounds sketch for some reason) all to himself. We are having some Virginia Beach size waves in Galveston today. Dang Hermine.

    1. Oh yeah, I’m Peanut’s mistress. That does sound sketchy. I usually go with “Mom.” I’ll shake my fist in the general direction of Hermine if that will help at all.

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