I smell rubber, hot asphalt and dusty, dry weeds. My legs feel like they have been smashed into the pavement, and are full of needles My whole right side is on fire, and I smell and taste my own blood.
I open my eyes and am momentarily blinded by the hot sun. I focus, and see a yellow line on the road, pebbled and uneven looking , and I look down at the bundle in my arms, a mass of blond hair, pink t-shirt, skirt and pudgy legs ending in sparkly sandals and pink painted little toes. No blood or odd angled limbs. Thank God!
I hear whimpering, and whisper, "Are you all right?"
Continued whimpering prompts me to repeat forcefully, "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I think tho." the little first grader lisp whimpers back as she looks up at me. She has blue eyes like my son, light blue, almost gray.
Her whimpering starts to grow, becoming a little sob, and I adjust my left arm to brush her hair back as she starts to get up.
"It's okay, sweetie. It's going to be okay," I whisper as I lay my head back down on the pavement, hearing screams, running footsteps and car engines idling. I close my eyes as the distant sirens wail, and welcome the reprieve from the bright sun, but I still see the light shining through my eyelids, until, finally, painless, cool darkness.
Yes, I occasionally do cross walk duty, and actually take my life, and the lives of elementary school children in my own hands. And, yes, occasionally, I have dreams about it. This delusional dream of grandeur is very revealing of my biggest fear - children (especially my own) in danger. Thankfully, I am never a victim in these dreams...I always fight, and win the safety of the child, but the cross walk fear is very real.
The insecure, inconsiderate mom/dad going around on the wrong side of the road to cut in front of everyone else. The self-important mom/dad texting or talking on the phone while stopping traffic to cut in front of the next rightful car, then walking her/his child back to their car still talking on the phone as if the child is the grocery store clerk with whom kindness and consideration is apparently not required. The non-parent too busy to wait, passing on the right - sometimes off the paved road to get around all this 'child pick-up mess' - and speeding through the intersection, oblivious to the cross walk monitor holding the large stop sign...hence the dream.
Always show patience and kindness in the face of the impatient and unkind. Otherwise you become what you detest. It is one thing to be too insecure, inconsiderate and self important to let anyone else have the right-of-way, and it is something totally different to put children in danger.
"It's all right, sweetie..."
"It's all right..."