6.14.2010

I wasn't going to say anything... then... then I realized that I am me

I was not going to say anything
I did not say anything... I refrained

then today... it happened
I was not going to say anything
then I realized
I realized that I am me
and well... I do what I do

so this morning I am doing my drop the kids off with bikes routine so that we can ride home together
we park a few blocks away
we unload the car
the kids ride ahead
I remind them about stopping at the corner... I remind them about crossing when it is clear
I remind them to look to see that turning traffic sees them

this is our routine three days a week
the boys roll a few blocks to school on their bikes so that I can ride to school to meet them and then ride home with them

it works out well
my older son goes into the school to arrive in class on time while my younger son locks up the bike
I usually arrive seconds later and get yelled at for assisting my younger son with the often difficult puzzle of locking two small unusually shaped kids with a bike rack and a U-Lock
most adults could not solve that puzzle

so this morning our kid from down the block is not along for the car pool which leaves just me and the boys
I send the boys ahead and I walk slowly behind sipping my coffee
up ahead I see them on the sidewalk
they are stuck behind a family of three walking their dog
the family is oblivious to them
although I am not close enough to hear them I am confident that my boys had approached with a gentle and friendly... "excuse me... excuse me... "

but no...
no parting of the sea
I wait... still nothing... the slowed bikes become stopped bicycles
from down the block I join in using that same two finger whistle that calls in my dog (once dogs)
using that same two finger whistle that I use to call halftime or water break for the kids at soccer
I use that two finger whistle to wake up that family to the world around them

even from halfway up the block they are spooked
they jump a bit
they stopped and stepped aside
they let the boys pass
I jogged ahead to catch up to the situation

it may have been a tad abrupt
as I moved past I turned to the side real quick so maybe I could get an answer to a question in my head

I told the man about how the week prior my boys were at the end of the block waiting for the light to change at the intersection
the boys were on their bikes each waiting their turn in the handicap ramp space
as the lights were going through their cycles there was some time
during that time you... your dog... and your two girls stepped in front of them
then the light changed and you walked in front of them in the crosswalk blocking the handicap ramp then blocking the whole sidewalk so that they could not pass
until finally you moved aside

it was a tad awkward
but admit-ably... it can be a tad awkward being me

he had no response

of course... he did not know what to say
he did not recall
he turned to the kids... I guess my excuse is "morning"
he made a dumb face when he said it

I can buy that excuse... morning is not my time either
I would also say that part of his excuse is he is oblivious to the world around him
oblivious and perhaps a little selfish

I used to play backgammon... lots of back gammon.... rounds and rounds and rounds of backgammon
not gambling in the South of France backgammon...
although I have played backgammon in the South of France

when playing backgammon the game is 85 Percent Luck and 15 Percent Skill...
people often balance the unlucky dice with miscounting
miscounting? moving the pieces the wrong amount?
which leads me to an understanding...
if you are making a mistake to your advantage you are cheating

where is this going?

no... this man is not cheating but his error favors himself and well... this was not a one time thing
this is who he is and how he moves
this is his everyday morning

I see him every day dropping his kids off at my kids school it is nice to see the family walk together
they seem to be enjoying the morning together
they have a cute little dog that makes the leisure walk at the leisure pace to school
but... as wonderful as their little morning experience may be it would be nice if they factored in other people's morning

our kids go to the same school
I see this guy every day
my guess... he has never notice me before
well... he notices me now
hopefully he will notice my kids as well

sure my kids are blazing up and down the sidewalks on their bikes
but really now... they are kids... they are on bikes
that is how small boys on bikes roll
and
well... people should start to expect more people on bikes

my kids are always courteous and try to give people their space
but I can see how the approaching bicycle can be a surprise to the person on the sidewalk
unless... this occurrence happens three days a week every week in the spring

as for this man and his family
well... that is how they roll
we each roll differently

I try to let my family roll our way... I try not to let our way of doing things impinge on other people's good time
hopefully we can all share the space without conflict
and of course... with mutual respect

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