There are three ways into our neighborhood, and two of those routes have schools on them. There is always some kind of elaborate pick up/drop off system being executed, and I always get caught in it. Without fail. Annie is going to walk to school every day just so I don’t have to deal with school pick up ballet. Also, she’ll walk because we’re only half a block from the elementary school, and even *I* am not that lazy.
A couple days ago I was driving home from the store and thought, “Hey, it’s 1pm, certainly it isn’t time for school dismissal,” so I took the most direct route home past the junior high. Of course it WAS school pick up time, because it is ALWAYS SCHOOL PICK UP TIME. Why are there so many half-days? WHY WHY WHY?
To add insult to injury I got stuck in the freaking pick up/drop off system behind a woman who was driving soooo sloooow I could have walked faster. I started scanning the sidewalk full of junior high kids, mentally making notes on all the outfits I hope are out of style before Annabel is old enough to wear them. I’d just raised my eyebrows at a girl in a teeny tiny dress when a boy right behind her decided it would be super-duper awesome to just run into traffic.
Luckily for this boy, he ran in front of the slow woman one car ahead of me. She couldn’t have been going faster than 7 miles an hour. She slammed on her brakes, but not before she hit him on his left side. He tumbled to the ground out of my view. He was on the ground long enough for me to a) scream, b) have a heart attack, and c) poop my pants. In total…about 2 seconds.
People swarmed from every direction, and the woman driving the car jumped out. I had my windows down and could hear her yell, “Are you OK?” while his friends yelled, “Yo Scott, look both ways before you cross the street, bro!” Every adult had the same look of terror, relief, and anger on their face. The kid looked fine…and embarrassed.
I felt really bad for the driver of the car, who’d already been driving so slow and carefully. I felt bad for the kid too, but I also wanted to maybe yell at him and shake his shoulders a little bit. Don’t run in the street! Look both ways, bro! It’s scary to think that you can drum something into your kids’ heads over and over and over, and then one day they’ll be in junior high and for reasons unknown, they’ll just forget everything and do something dangerous and stupid. Yay, parenting!
Also, I am never driving by that junior high again.