Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lending a helping hand

It rained on and off all night. And it was still wet outside this morning.

It was super cloudy when I drove the kids to school. What's funny that even though it was cloudy, it was warmer than it's been -- around 55 degrees. A break from the 38 degree mornings we've been having.

When I drive the kids to school, I get on the freeway. I only have to go down 2 exits, so I do have the option of taking the frontage road that runs alongside the freeway. Plus, when you take the frontage road? You hit a light in between that takes FOREVER to get through. Then there's the merging into the left lanes to make a left turn towards the school.

Anyway, this morning we exited the freeway. The exit was pretty backed up. I was probably about 25 cars from the left-turn. I happened to notice a truck up ahead parked on the frontage road. As our car inched forward I noticed an elementary-aged kid standing on the passenger side of the small truck.
Princess: Mom! Look there's a truck over there!
Me: Oh yeah. I see it. Their truck must have broken down.
Princess: Yeah. HEY! That's Darien!
Me: Who's Darien?
Princess: The fourth grader who won Around The World yesterday.
Me: Oh. That boy goes to your school? Do you think we should stop?
Princess: That would be right thing to do Mom. Let's stop, okay?
Me: Okay babe. I'll pull over there.
As soon as I can reach the merge with the frontage road, I pull overall the way to the right and park along the curb. I get out and run up to where the truck is.
Me: Hi! Your son goes to LLA right?
TheDad: Uh. Yeah. He does. [looking a little cautious]
Me: Yeah. My daughter, Princess, noticed him while we waiting on the off-ramp there. If you're having car trouble, do you want me to drive Darien to school?
TheDad: [turning to his son] Do you know Princess?
Me: She's in Ms. Miller's class.
Darien: Oh. Yeah!
Me: If you're having car trouble, we can drive Darien the rest of the way to school. We have space so it's not a problem.
TheDad: Darien, will you feel okay to go with them?
Darien: Sure.
So the Princess transfers to the back into the 3rd row. Darien hops into the car (on the curbside away from the cars). And we head off the 2.5 blocks to school. Sounds like a short distance, right? But it's not a safe route for walking. It's along the freeway underpass. Then along two main roads. NOT. SAFE. TO. WALK.

The kids made it to school on time. I walked them all into the main gate. And the Princess had a huge smile on her face because she was able to help someone from school. She's definitely got something to write into her Girl Scout journal.

And when I left the school to drive home? It started to rain. Big drops. I ended up with a warm feeling inside knowing that I'd helped someone.

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