Crossing Guard

May 16 2021

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher had the “star of the week” activity where one of us would have our life details hung up on a wall. Each of us had to fill out a profile about ourselves: what we liked to do, what we wanted to be when we grew up, what was our favorite animal, yellow construction-paper star, a crayon self-portrait.

I wrote that I wanted to “be a crossing guard when I grow up.” It was nice when the old man helped us walk across a 4-way intersection so kids could safely get to school.

Cue the happy noises that adults make, “That’s so sweet!”

You know, as a kid, people don’t expect much from you. As a kid, you don’t have quite the vocabulary to express yourself properly.

I always remember these incidents when I didn’t have the words I wanted. I really would’ve said, “A crossing guard puts themselves in front of 2-ton vehicles every day, and the elderly man that I see every day could get run over at any moment if the driver behind the car loses control. How do you know he’ll live at the end of his shift? How are a red octagon and a highlighted vest supposed to stop a 2-ton vehicle?”

Crossing guards are magic, you know? They really defy all physics.