I’d only had my driver’s license a couple of weeks when the motorcycle cop pulled me over. I was driving my 10-year-old (though it seemed like a 20-year-old) Ford Escort from school to whatever fast food restaurant we’d decided on that day. (Our high school campus was “open,” so we could leave for lunch. Sometimes we didn’t come back, though.) I was still getting used to operating the manual transmission and missed the school zone sign, which informed me of the 15 mph speed limit.

Stop when children in crosswalk

School zones are different back in Yuma than here in Ohio, at least they were then. Here, we have one 20-mph sign featuring blinking yellow lights, telling you when the school zone starts, though none when it ends. Back home, we had signs, which someone carried out there every morning, in the middle of the road at the beginning of the zone and at the end. The speed limit remains in effect the entire school day, whereas here the lights only blink for an hour or so before and after school. Usually in the middle of the zone back home, there is another sign in the road telling you to stop when children in crosswalk. We have no such sign here.

I’d been thinking about all this, because I walk my girls to school every morning and it’s been getting darker and darker, not to mention colder. (I’m writing this before the time changes.) There aren’t many, but some days I’m unable to walk them and the traffic along the road from our house to school concerns me. Despite that it’s a short walk, the road is a state route that runs through our town. Most drivers slow down but not all. Further, there’s a street light out that would otherwise flood the crosswalk. I’ve called the village municipal office to let them know. Yes, I said village. We’re in a very small town.

On the first day of school this year, I was surprised at the school’s lack of concern for the safety of walkers. In Toledo at Monac Elementary, which was situated in a residential area and not on a state highway, there were crossing guards in orange vests at every crosswalk. Here, there are none. And the crosswalk hides in shadows.

Lindsay and Jacque about 7 years ago


I realize our girls are getting older, and I won’t be able to walk them safely across the street forever. Soon they’ll be driving crummy cars like the one I had. (More on that in another post.) Keeping them safe becomes less about holding their hands and more about teaching them how to be careful. (Unlike Micah for whom we provide a gate at the top of the steps to prevent him from tumbling down.) We’ll still use parental controls on our computer and monitor the movies and shows they watch, but we can’t guard them from everything. Though danger lurks at every corner, we trust our God whose eye is always on them and knows the very hairs on their beautiful heads.

He will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. —Psalm 91:11 NLT

By the way, though I was going about 32 mph, the cop let me off with a warning, one I’ve heeded ever since, at least in school zones and residential areas.

Now, where to find one of those snazzy orange vests?

What about you? What concerns do you have for your children? How do you protect them?

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