Everyday school crossing guards put their lives on the line – whether intentional or not. With the guard at Jenna’s school it is intentional. Oh, sure, there is more than one crossing guard, but Mr. Ruthless is stationed at the main street populated with cars and drivers with led feet.
Drivers might not respect Mr. Ruthless, but I think as I parent I would feel honored to have him as Jenna’s crossing guard (if we were near enough to go on foot) but because my usual route is to drop her off behind the school, my encounters with Mr. Ruthless have been brief.
Mr. Ruthless is one who will intentionally put his life on the line. I am floored whenever I see it happen. And yet I can’t help feeling a sense of pride that he is seriously willing to lay down his life for our children. He will walk out into the street and stop as he faces the oncoming traffic with a challenge to either slow down or be sent to prison for plowing him down. He also keeps a pad of paper handy to write down the license plates of anyone going over 20 mph.
I don’t know if he lost somebody personally due to speed. My guess is he has. Or else he is a retired police officer who has just seen too much pain cause by drivers who may never slow down. He is a good man to have on your team – so long as you are working with him. But cross him and he becomes your deadly opponent – not in a physical way – but with a vengeance that almost makes you wish that you were.
At the end of each year, the teachers are honored. The PTA (or PTO) creates an environment to show respect and appreciation. I don’t think they have a crossing guard day. And not everybody has a need for the crossing guard. But how extremely blessed we are to have crossing guards who will keep our children safe – especially the ones like Mr. Ruthless – who even though can swear provocatively as the speeding drivers and raise his fists and occasionally hit the moving cars with his fists or whatever. It’s obvious that he knows his priorities and is watching out for our children’s welfare.
Thank you Mr. Ruthless. And thank you to all who keep our children safe.