My friend Hammie’s youngest daughter started kindergarten this year. In the mornings she has her older sister to watch over her on the bus. In the afternoon, each new kindergartener has a fourth grade “bus buddy” whose responsibility it is to make sure their little charges get on the correct bus home. As Hammie was telling me about her daughter’s “bus buddy” my mind drifted back to my kindergarten year and… The Crossing Guard.
I don’t remember his name but I do remember how handsome he looked with his sexy crossing guard sash and what appeared to me to be a full size Stop sign, waiting for
me us outside the classroom each day. He was in fifth grade, older, but still a very achievable man in my eyes. I knew that if I could just get his attention he could be mine.
And I had a plan. Not a good plan, I was only 5, but still a plan. Every day I would run as fast as I could to be first in line behind The Crossing Guard. Most days I made it. This netted me extra gazing time as we waited for the other kids to get in line. I say “we” like it was a team effort, me and my man, The Crossing Guard. I would make lame attempts at conversation and he would nod his head at me. Oh yea, he was mine!
When everyone had lined up, The Crossing Guard would lead us up the hill to the intersection where some kids would need to cross. I didn’t need to cross that street so I would linger a minute or two, watching for any love signs and then walk the rest of my 10 miles, uphill both ways, in the snow, journey home. No really, I thought it was a super long way. Turns out it was only a quarter of a mile.
Then one special day, I got the attention I so desired from my man. This was not just any day, this was the day our paper mache’ Easter eggs were dry enough to take home. Yes, God was still allowed in school then. I clutched my exquisite egg to my bosom and ran to my man. And tripped, landing squarely on top of my beloved egg. Ever the gentleman, The Crossing Guard came to my aid, gently helping me up.
I was devastated. How humiliating! Not only did I klutz out in front of The Crossing Guard, but I popped the balloon inside my egg! I could hear it rattling around in there. I had no idea at the time that it didn’t matter if the balloon popped. I had killed my egg and my chances with my man. Sobbing like the big baby that I was, I went to the back of the line. No gazing for me that day. Or any day after that.
I don’t remember ever running to get in line again. I was too embarrassed to face him.
Ahh, young love. I certainly don’t miss it.