19 September 2007

And In Other News: Reckless Driving near Playground Leaves Community on the Alert

What a day! What a day! As if breaking my tooth wasn't enough, my life got even a little more exciting. I'll try to re-create the moment for you.

Since my tooth was broken and I needed to fill a prescription and Enoch was working late at school tonight, I decided that cooking dinner wouldn't do. Plus, tonight was "Story hour" at school, and it started at 6pm. So we all hopped in the van and headed to Target, where I dropped off my prescription, and then came back to the local McDonald's for dinner just before story time started. This is all relevant information because I would otherwise have not driven my car the 2 1/2 blocks to the school; we would have walked. But there we were. Story time was wonderful: we had stories, snacks, glue and glitter, brand new books to bring home--a good time was had by all, even Rosalind. So we carefully loaded up our treasures, and as I was parked on the street beside the school, I simply drove straight ahead and made a series of left turns at the end of the block to make my way home.

I got home, opened the van door, and realized that I'd left my purse/diaper bag at the school! So back to school we drove, and this time I pulled into the school parking lot and parked near the entrance. As I was pulling in, I was distracted by a couple of adults at the park bench near the swings where several children were playing. The woman was leaning on the man in a rather inappropriate manner, and I nearly honked my horn at them. We all got out, I got my bag, we all got back in. I thought for a split second about not bothering with seat belts, since we were only 2 blocks away, but my kids are so well trained, they would probably panic if they didn't have their seat belts on.

As we were leaving, I must have been paying attention to the couple, who were still acting somewhat inappropriately, and I made a left out of the parking lot. Before I reached the end of the block, I noticed my neighbor crossing the street, and I thought she might be looking for her little boy. I slowed down to say hello, and she told me, "You're going the wrong way, you know!" Just about that very moment, my children informed me that they could see red and blue lights flashing behind us, and suddenly I realized that I was going the wrong way down a one-way street, and somehow, a police officer was right there to catch it all!

So I pulled to the side and parked, took off my seatbelt to get my drivers' license, and began breaking a sweat. I apologized to the officer when he asked for my license, and explained to him that normally we walk home from school this direction on this road, and I didn't realize that it was a one-way street until my neighbor just informed me. As we waited for him to return, I could overhear a little girl telling another little girl on the sidewalk, "That's Julien's Mom."

So by Friday, I'm sure the story will be all over school. If those girls don't spread the story, Julien will certainly make a grand attempt at it, I'm certain. The officer asked me one or two more questions, and then told me to, "Just be careful; there's a lot of children walking around here." And I made my way home with my head hanging and my cheeks flushed. For the next hour, the real interrogation took place, as Julien bombarded me with questions about the criminal justice system and traffic violation laws.

It will be a long time before I hear the end of it I think. And I sometimes wonder what that couple on the bench must have thought. A good lesson in humility.

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