This is for my neighbor... He and his wife and two small children live at the top of the block. Just this fall his daughter entered Kindergarten and so now we have another child taking the school bus, who lives on our side of the busy street we need to cross to get to the bus stop. Stay with me...it will begin to make sense as to why this matters.
Anyway, I can use my scooter to accompany my daughter up to the end of the block to watch her cross the street and get on the bus; but admittedly, there are days I don't feel up to the task. While those days are few and far between; I beat myself up over the idea of letting her go alone. I was raised with a healthy dose of good old Italian Catholic guilt so its easy for me to fall into this trap. Over and over, I repeat the rules on how to safely cross the street in case one day I cannot muster the strength to go with her, but it's difficult for me to be okay with this kind of independence.
A few days into the school year I noticed my neighbor and his daughter began to use the school bus service, and so while we waited for the bus, they joined us on the corner. We made fast friends of them, because my daughter cannot imagine anyone who wouldn't be delighted to talk with her, and she started right in asking them questions so she could get to know them. Although his daughter was shy and mostly hid behind him, Dad was tolerant of her inquiries and friendly.
After a few days, when they reached the corner he turned to my daughter and said, "Shall we cross?" and she hugged me goodbye and crossed safely with them. When the bus left and he returned to our side of the street, I thanked him, offered up the customary "Have a good day!" and we parted ways to head back to our homes.
Since that day, I've come to notice that they wait to cross the street until we arrive, and I take comfort in knowing she won't be crossing alone if one day I don't feel up to the task. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know your name, but thank you neighbor for stepping up and making a Mom feel a little less worried.
In case you're out there and you read this...Do you like brownies? I'd like to bake you some...