To the Driver Trying to Help Me and My Toddler Cross the Road
It’s raining, but the little guy in the stroller doesn’t mind. He’s kicking a leg out from under his awning every few seconds to catch a few raindrops on his boat shoes, which to his delight are turning a deeper gray under the drizzle.
We’re waiting for the “little man” to appear so that we can cross the street. But you, seeing the stroller, the rain, and the mom without an umbrella, stop in the middle of the intersection to let us pass. We don’t move. You flash your brights. We don’t move. You wave, gesturing across the street, we think, to show no one is coming. We don’t move, so you give up and drive on through.
The little man appears, and we cross.
You were trying to do a good deed, to help a kiddo stay dry on a rainy day. But we are out on a walk learning about the world. He’s learning that a little water won’t bother him, especially if he pretends to quack like a duck. He’s learning that cars take turns at intersections, and that pedestrians have to wait their turns too. He’s learning to watch signals and read signs and practice patience.
Right now, driver, you and I have different priorities. You’re trying to make life easier on me and my child, which is lovely. But right now, my job is to teach him to deal with a little adversity and to obey traffic laws. My child is little, but he’s old enough to learn these lessons so that, years from now when he’s making the walk to the grocery store on his own, he’ll know to press the button and wait for the little man. And maybe jump in a few puddles along the way.
Originally published at www.snackdinner.com.