I don’t need a village to help raise my kids, I need a traffic cop.
Last week both my teens took to the streets for the very first time and since our state requires I ride along for at least six months, I’m audience to the shenanigans of other drivers. That’s right. It’s not my kids who need policing but the adults who ought to know better.
To the driver in the blue truck who illegally passed my teen on the right in order to pull into the nearest coffee shop, I’m not sure adding fuel to your already impatient fire is a good idea. Valium, yes. Caffeine, no.
To the driver with disabled plates who flew past my teen on a residential street doing 3x the legal limit: really? You of all people should know better.
To the driver in the giant Cadillac who laid on his horn like it was an Olympic sport, did you really need to honk for 39 seconds? Could you have granted my teen a moment to realize the light was green before blaring your horn so loudly and long we both had mini seizures?
To the driver in the black SUV, my teen can read lips you know. He’s a teenager. They have superpowers that way and believe me, all those words you were spewing came through loud and clear. Seriously, does your mother know you talk like that?
And to the driver in the red Mustang who was all over my teen’s bumper like a bad rash, would it kill you to let a little light in? Bumpers are meant to breathe my friend, and so are humans, so maybe next time try inhaling deeply while realizing the world will still turn on it’s axis even if you arrive at the next intersection approximately 1/16th of a second late.
Now I know this is a two-way street, so in exchange for better behavior I offer the following:
I promise to teach my teens to be patient, observant, and gracious drivers. To merge with plenty of time and to serenely yield when someone needs in. I promise to instruct them on the importance of giving a wide berth to bikers and walkers, joggers and runners, kids and pets, even if it means they’ll be late.
I will teach them to look twice for motorcyclists and that tailgating is bad, reckless jockeying for a better position even worse. I will instruct them on the small courtesies of driving: a wave of the hand to signal thanks or a quick flash of the headlights to signal come-on-over. More than anything, I will remind them we’re all in this together—no driver sits behind the wheel of an island—and that means taking selfies while driving is also a bad idea.
That’s right, driver of the crimson Honda, I saw you too from the passenger seat.