I had been allowing Elder Spawn (now age 7, if you can believe that) to ride her bicycle up and down the sidewalk to the west of the house while I was outside doing various gardening tasks and washing the car. When a car would come I would walk over to the street and peer westward to determine if she was safely out of the road and doing as she should. She always was.
This evening as I wrapped up the things I was doing to the front yard, she was again riding up and down the sidewalk with my permission. A couple of flashy cars with loud music emanating from within came down the street, and as was customary I walked over and squinted into the sun — just in time to see my curly headed be-helmeted child swerve off of the sidewalk into the street in front of the first car. Not directly in front, but still. In front.
Bless their hearts, the drivers slowed to a stop and pulled off to the right.
At this point Mama Bear roared to life and in a voice that the world has never before heard I yelled, “DELIA! DELIA GET OFF THE ROAD! GET ON THE SIDEWALK! RIGHT NOW!” Yea verily, it was as if the heavens had been rent and the very voice of God was commanding her, so quickly did she get off the bike and walk it onto the sidewalk.
She knew she was busted but good, and walked her bike back to me blinking back the tears. I asked her gently if she had known the cars were there, and she shook her head. I told her that was why she must always ride on the sidewalk and never go into the road, and she walked her bike to the garage and went into the house without another word. She stewed in her own juices for a bit and then I rescued her from her own worst critic — herself. The Lovely Rhonda was already in there talking to her as she hid beneath her blankets. Poor kiddo. I think I scared her to bits.
Bet she doesn’t do that again for a while. Good thing. I don’t think I could take it.