The Hydrant

I’m a people watcher.

I admit it, I love to sit back and watch people.  I’m intrigued by what people think no one else sees.  Like when you catch the person in the car next to you picking their nose or the mother who gives her child a swat on the butt and then looks up to see if anyone noticed. 

My back door looks out at an elementary school.  Some mornings, I like to make my coffee and sit out on the back deck, watching all the parents dropping their kids off, listening to the sounds of the school yard.  My daughter sits with me and she loves to make up stories about what the kids are doing.  The school does not have a very large drop-off/pick-up zone and the playground is all the way at the other side of the school so most parents park at the side of the road and walk their kids over to the playground.  This is the road we can see perfectly from the back of our house, between us and the school.

Most mornings are pretty uneventful.  The parents roll up in their cars, kids get out, they hold hands walking to the yard, mom/dad runs back to the car and leaves.  However, yesterday I was shocked when I watched a mother in a white mini-van pull up to the street and park – directly infront of the fire hydrant!   I waited thinking she was going to move – the side of the road was full of cars and the next closest parking spot was about 6 cars up the road.  Maybe she was waiting for another car to get out of the way?  I was wrong.  She puts the car in park, gets out and takes her child to the yard.  I swear my jaw was to my chest at this point. 

Did she seriously just park infront of the fire hydrant?  Such a basic law that should be embedded in our mind, like breathing.  Yet she was completely ignoring it.

Now you can give me all the excuses in the book.  She was just going to be minute.  What are the chances the school would catch on fire at that exact moment?  There’s another hydrant around the corner.  She’s a busy mom. 

That’s not the point.

She has now made this act okay.  Saying it’s okay to do something illegal if you are in a rush.  Teaching that to her kids.  They are watching us.  Everything we do, they are watching us.  What shocked me the most was the fact that no other parents or teachers in the yard even said a word to her.  I can only assume no one else noticed, thinking the alternative makes me very sad.  If I thought there was a chance she’d be able to hear me, I would have become the crazy lady yelling from her backyard. 

This morning, I watched as a red SUV pulled up, turned on it’s blinker and started to pull in.  Upon noticing the hydrant, the car pulled back out and parked further down the road.  Restored a little faith.



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