‘Look Both Ways Before You Cross The Street.’ One of the oldest and most widely spoken rules a parent enforces, it’s right up there with ‘Eat Your Vegetables’ and ‘Stop Picking Your Nose And Eating It.’ Ok so maybe that last one was specific to me and my parents.
Yesterday I took my (almost) three year-old daughter out for a walk on the first balmy day of the year. I even suggested she wear shorts to which she replied, ‘what are shorts?’ Yeah it was a long rough winter. We walked up our steep street to investigate the ruins of a lost civilization…or an old girls’ camp as the case may be and then headed back down to meet the boys at the bus.
While we were playing on a neighbor’s swing set some other neighbors walked by with their twins and new baby so we wandered across the street to say hello. When the baby failed to meet my daughter’s conversational expectations she decided to go back to the swings. We watched her go and a couple of times looked up to make sure she was still in sight.
Then seemingly out of nowhere there was a car and screeching brakes. I whipped around and calculated first the death of my only daughter followed by the extent of her massive critical injuries and finally the number of inches by which the speeding car had missed her…all in less than a second. It wasn’t until I realized that the car had come to rest against the curb and that she was standing between me and the car that I realized she was ok. The picture above is the actual skid mark.
Even with three adults none of us saw her dart into the road. Was the car going too fast down our street with 3 visible adults, two toddlers and a stroller in plain sight, maybe. The driver may have even moved over to the right to pass us which could have been the inches that saved my daughter’s life.
I scooped her up and we had a moment while we made sure everyone was really unharmed. The driver apologized and insisted they had been driving slowly…I wasn’t in the mood to talk let alone argue, but a 20 foot long skid mark should tell you how fast the car was going. We just reassured each other and went our separate ways.
Kids…Look Both Ways Before You Cross The Street…parents Always Watch Your Kids and ANY Kids that happen to be nearby. Drivers, if a sign says Slow Children (comma or no comma) then please…drive slowly.