“Can I write a thank you note?” the little boy asked and I had to laugh because I have tried on several occasions to get our little people to write thank you notes for the gifts they have received and they have always stubbornly and creatively avoided the task.
“Well, sure,” I replied as I scribbled my own, very late, birthday thank you notes. “Who are you thanking?”
“The crossing guard.”
“I think that is an excellent choice.”
And he set to work writing and drawing a most sincere thank you note.
Our crossing guard is not particularly chatty. In fact, we don’t even know his name. But, we do know he’ll be there every morning and every afternoon to help us cross a busy street. Rain, snow, sleet, dark of winter afternoon, he’s even more dependable than the postal service, and he always greets us in exactly the same way.
“Stay there now,” he says, because I know we seem like the kind of walkers who will suddenly bolt across the street. Then he waves us on. “Ok now.”
As we pass in front of him, he says “You have a good day now.”
And, mostly, we do because we have people we can count on to help us along the way.
If you want to know what makes an impact on a child, reliability ranks high. So does tolerance.
Our crossing guard does not judge us for the shenanigans that make our walk to school more interesting — the shadow game, the dog petting, the dandelion wishing, the time we walked backwards for a stretch.
He just waits patiently until we arrive at his corner, then guides us across the street.
Our roads through life can be full of potholes and zooming obstacles we don’t even see. It sure is nice when people show up for us every day.