Recently I began babysitting two days a week (I know what you’re thinking: “like she doesn’t have ENOUGH kids already?!) in a nearby town. After I drop my older kids off at school, the two youngest and I drive over to my little charge’s house.
The first day was a challenge; despite making the necessary preparations the night before (kids’ clothes laid out, backpacks packed, shoes -for both feet- located), the morning was still somehow a mad scramble. We rushed out the door, dropped the older kids at school, and hit the road towards our babysitting engagement.
Or tried to.
We had the misfortune of being on a one-lane road, which isn’t always a bad thing, when:
a: there’s no one driving slowly in front of you,
b: you’re in no rush.
But in our case, both a. and b. applied. The traffic was moving at a snail’s pace, and I didn’t want to be late.
It was one of those mornings where the one-lane road is crammed with drivers who just enjoy the slow and steady pace. And while I can appreciate that not everyone is in a hurry (like myself) or running late (like myself), as the minutes started ticking by, I started getting… ticked.
(on the inside, anyway…)
We were nearing the entrance to the parkway, and just before the parkway there’s an elementary school located on the corner. Traffic was thinning, which is good, but I was still feeling irked. And as we stopped at the red light that is near the school, I noticed a crossing guard that was standing on the corner.
Now at this point in the morning, there are basically no children left to supervise in crossing, with the exception of a rare latecomer. So the crossing guard was standing on the corner. And she was waving.
I watched it happen. We were getting closer…. about to pass her… whatdoIdo? Make the call, do it do it-do it-DO IT–
So I waved back.
And she smiled, and mouthed the words, “Have a great day!”
And as I drove past her corner and onto the parkway ramp, I was smiling. I felt lighter- it was something about making an unexpected positive connection, albeit brief, with a total stranger. A very kind total stranger.
(And did we make it on time to my babysitting appointment? Yes, we did. So the car stress was for naught anyway.)
So the next time that I babysat, we were -miracle of miracles- running on time, and things were much calmer. And I knew as we approached the school that the crossing guard might be there, & was curious to see if she was waving again.
And sure enough, there she was, on the same school corner. It was raining, but no matter. She still had a big smile on her face, and was still waving at every single car that passed by her.
So I gave her a THUMBS UP.
Yup. I did. I have no filter when it comes to cheesy, happy behavior.
And she smiled brightly with a cheerful, “Have a great day!”
So now I’ve cracked the code. Every passing driver gets a wave. Those who acknowledge her, by waving back, or possibly even just a smile (I haven’t tried that yet) get an encouraging word for a great day ahead.
What touches me about this experience, and this woman, is that her actions are so simple, yet so meaningful. Well, maybe not to some; I have no doubt she’s ignored by the majority of drivers, or maybe even becomes the recipient of their frustration, bad morning coffee, etc.
But to me, I see a beautiful act. I see a woman who is fulfilling her responsibility- standing in weather that I wouldn’t be caught dead in in order to protect and guide the school children- but who also wants to share whatever joy/enthusiasm she has inside with anyone who wants it, needs it, or is willing to accept it.
I only drive past her route twice a week. But each time that I do, I look forward to seeing her standing at her post, waving drivers on, wishing them a good morning. She injects a spirit of lightness into my morning by the simplest of actions, and it encourages me to want to share that gift, freely, with other people that I in turn come into contact with.
I’m thankful that our paths crossed.
© Copyright 2015 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom