If you are new to my site, every Tuesday I post my “Dad’s View” column that runs Saturdays in our local paper, The Madison Record.
Prior to becoming a parent I couldn’t have imagined doing, thinking, or caring about what I do now. Certainly, I understood why people obsessively read food labels, have a brand preference for wipes, and rate gas station bathrooms along their travel route. But, that wasn’t me. I bought food that was on sale, um, didn’t use wipes, and rolled the dice when making pit stops.
It was with “pre-kid” eyes that I first stopped with a neighbor to watch commuters make their way into, out of, and around our kid’s school zone. I wasn’t fully aware of why I was staring at traffic; I was only mesmerized, like staring at a hill of ants you run over with the lawn mower.
It was the third time we paused at the corner of B. and M. Road to observe car flow, that I realized what I was doing, I was concerned about the safety of our kids, and not just our kids, but the drivers as well. I winced when cars peeked onto M. road to “blindly” head east, gave a glare when people pressed the pedal to 45 mph as they crossed the imaginary line where the 25 mph sign stands, and scoffed at the lack of respect for a cross walk around a school zone.
I understand being in a hurry, taking calculated risks as a driver, and otherwise believing what “I” need to get to be important. I don’t completely fault the drivers; the situation they have to pass through is a difficult one. Pile that on top of the normal bustle that exists on blurry eyed commutes to work, and something is bound to happen.
I wouldn’t have taken the time to understand the difference between Pampers and Huggies as a 16 year-old, and I don’t expect that people are going to share the same concern that I have for the potentially dangerous intersection of B. and M. Road. My vision has changed, what’s important to me is new. Sixteen year-old “me” is laughing at thirty-six year old me while speaking out about the “stupid dress code” at school. Having kids, getting older, sure shifts priorities and perspectives.
* in the original print version I included the full name of the streets.