Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Crosswalk Guard

I don't want you guys to get the wrong impression. I'm not a Suzie Volunteer kind of person. And maybe you're thinking, "But you've been a volunteer Meals on Wheels delivery person for nine years" and that would be true, but I do that for my own selfish reasons. What happened was, back in the day, I somehow became a crosswalk guard at my daughter's school. I seriously don't even remember how it came about. And that's not me in the picture above. As usual I stole that from Google Images.
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The picture below was taken from Google Earth, and the school has not only changed its name but added a bunch of buildings.

But the grey central U-shaped part was the elementary school when my daughter was there. I was the crosswalk guard for a year or two. My main spot was where it says "My Spot" although I sometimes took care of spots two and three. You can actually see the crosswalk marks in the picture. What you can't see is that the road there had severe drainage problems. Heck that whole city had severe drainage problems. And by city, I mean tiny little DFW suburb. It's probably one of the smallest DFW suburbs.
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Whenever we had a crazy rainstorm, that whole little road there would be under several inches of water. I did not know that when I signed up for the thing.
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Over time, I experienced some rain there and just felt sorry for the little kids, but one day it was really bad. I mean really bad. It was probably 6 or 7 inches deep that day. So every little kid that walked up to cross, I would actually pick up and carry across the street. The water was really deep! After about 10 or 11 kids, my back was starting to say, "Stop that!" The rain was pouring and the water was rushing, but I kept slogging on. After a few more trips I returned to the school side. I turned, ready to grab another kid and there was a boy standing there expectantly with his arms out ready to be picked up. He came almost to my nose and was very chubby. I just looked him over and said, "I'm sorry. I can't pick you up." I felt terrible and he looked crushed. We're standing there in the pouring rain and there was nothing I could do. So I said, "You're almost a man now. You can do this!" He smiled and ran through the wash.
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That was the very worst day of being a crosswalk guard. I hope I didn't make that little kid feel fat. Or feel bad that I didn't pick him up. I hope he turned out okay.

7 comments:

VioletSky said...

I once had a route in an area with severe drainage problems during a summer where it rained almost daily. I don't know how those people stood it - their basements must have flooded every time. My poor running shoes took days to dry from being so drenched so I needed several pairs - plus wellies. I now have the same area again and this summer it is under construction for new sewers. Sigh.

Anyway, perhaps he felt proud to be a "man" and not a little kid like the others. Maybe he teased them mercilessly afterwards.

Jazz said...

I think your "you're almost a man" comment probably made his day.

XUP said...

Ya, I think you made him feel like a man -- not fat. And, crossing guards are volunteers by you? Up here they get paid and have to undergo a rigorous security check

Daryl said...

You turned those lemons into lemonade ...

geewits said...

Violetsky,
~~He seemed like a shy kid, so I can't imagine he teased anyone, but it would be nice if it made him feel good. Keep your feet dry!

Jazz,
~~He might have felt good in his head, but his feet and legs were soaking wet, poor guy.

Xup,
~~Well we were parents of the kids there. And all the schools are in neighborheoods in the burbs. I'd expect you would need some sort of training to deal with city traffic. I was also a teacher's helper for a time as well as room mother for several years. Maybe they did run a background check on me.

Daryl,
~~Yeah, maybe, but very wet lemonade.

Carole said...

My comment kind of fits both your last posts. I loved my 3rd grade teacher and she loved me! One day a friend and I were giggling and carrying on something fierce in class. It was close to the holidays and the excitement was no doubt getting to us. So before class let out our teacher asked us to both stay after school to "talk" to her. Uh oh! I had NEVER been in trouble in school and suddenly started to worry because I knew I was being "bad". Needless to say, the giggling stopped! So...after school when all the kids were gone she called us up to her desk, and she began to ask us our opinion on what Christmas colors to use to decorate the classroom with, etc. Then she proceeded to tell us how we were her 2 best girls in class and how helpful and good we always were and thanked us for staying to help her! Not only was that a tremendous relief to us 8 year olds, but I tried even harder to be the good helpful little girl that she told me I was from then on!

I loved your last post on your teacher, and on this post you turned around a potentially negative situation into a good one for that little "man".

Funny the things your stories bring to mind for me. Thanks!

geewits said...

Carole,
~~There was nothing more fun than helping a teacher decorate the room!