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I Think We Lost Him

One morning a couple of years ago, I was on my way to drop off my oldest son at Kindergarten. After that, I had to drive all the way across town to drop off my younger son at his pre-school then drive back to our side of town in time to waddle my pregnant self into my job at yet another pre-school. We were running late, which wasn’t unusual and I was in a bit of a hurry.

I never saw the policeman until he was in my rear view window as I sat in line to drop off my son.  I thought, “Ah crap … he can just wait!” So we inched along in the line, cars behind us … cars in front of us … his lights flashing the entire time … waiting to get to the point where the teacher opened the door for us and helped my son out. I could see the vice principal watching out the cafeteria windows, coffee cup in hand, looking perplexed…probably wondering what was going on. The teacher charged with helping the kids out of the cars looked at me with confusion as well. I said, “He’s for me.” She said, “You can probably just pull up there …” “Yeah, yeah, I know!” I barked. My son gave me a kiss and a hug, got out of the car, and I pulled up to an open area of the parking lot, while other moms rubbernecked by, trying to see who had been pulled over.

I wasn’t in the mood for conversation or for any sort of b.s., so when he got to my window, smiled and asked me if I was running late that morning, I frowned and said, “Yeah, I was going too fast.” I just wanted him to write me my ticket so I could get on with my day. And yet, he was unusually friendly and nice. He said he was only going to give me a warning, “…unless you just want a ticket,” he grinned.  He may have even winked. “No … not … really.” I said … quite honestly surprised.

Then as we were driving away, my younger son said, “I think we lost him.” In the strange, foggy world between wanting to laugh and envisioning my young son’s future as some sort of criminal in a high speed chase, I surmised that he must have learned that phrase from the Midtown Madness game my husband installed on their computer. I then explained on our drive across town that policemen are the good guys and that he was just reminding me to drive the speed limit so we would all be safe. I also had to explain that people don’t usually go to jail for speeding when he asked if I was going to be arrested. He still points it out to me if he thinks I’m driving too fast. So all in all, I guess it was a positive learning experience for both of us.

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