Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maternal Instincts

I almost hit a kid on my drive home today. I was about five blocks from my house, turning off Macarthur onto my street. I saw them playing on the sidewalk, obviously some variety of hide and seek or tag: two boys, no more than five or six, stalking a third boy from behind a hedge. There was a girl too, maybe a year or so older than the boys; maybe she was supposed to be in charge. When the first two boys jumped out from behind the hedge at the third boy, he ran right between two parked cars and into the street. Thank god I had already slowed down or the Impala's squishy brakes wouldn't have been enough. As it was the brakes made an impressive squeal, and the boy stopped short, a look of terror on his face. My first instinct was to jump out of the car, grab the lot of them by their ears and drag them off to find whoever the frak was supposed to be looking after them. Instead I glared at the poor kid and pointed sternly at the sidewalk, while he pointed a hand at the boys behind him, indicating that they were the reason he was running into traffic.

My heart didn't stop pounding until I got home.

I'm certain that I gave my mother a considerable amount of grief as a kid, tearing around my neighborhood on my pink bike with its flowered banana seat. I got grounded when I was 8 or 9 for riding down the middle of the street, completely oblivious to my four-year old sister peddling furiously after me on her big wheel. But our street wasn't particularly busy and I knew the rules about which streets I could and couldn't cross. One of the reasons I love our current house is the enormous back yard. We live on a busy street; it makes me cringe when I see or hear cars or motorcycles roaring down it, knowing how many cats and children live near by. While our yard is a huge mess of weeds right now, I can imagine how, by the time the bug is old enough to play out there, we'll have conquered it, made space for a playset, with grass or clover for him to run and tumble in. So he can stay the hell off the streets.

In other news, today is exactly one month before my due date. I have very little expectation that the froglet will arrive in exactly one month (we have friends who just had their first baby - 12 days late) but its pretty amazing being this close. And I'm not even stressing about his room today.

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