I’m writing today about 5 seconds. The five seconds every parent/guardian dreads. The 5 seconds most drivers cannot wait for small children to get safely on the sidewalk. Yes, it takes approximately 5 seconds or less to cross from the median on 11th St. to the corner of Bloomfield St. How do I know this? My son and I conducted an experiment. It usually took less, but it never took longer, than 5 seconds (counting w Mississippi’s of course). We would start counting when we reached the median and stop when we safely on the sidewalk. We counted in rain, in snow, we continue counting when one of us fell. Because children fall, trip, let go of hands to grab something they see or stretch your arm to unimaginable lengths to see that shiny object in the street. They are impulsive little beings we try to teach to be patient.
We teach with words, with actions, with consistency. So to the handful of drivers who wait those 5 seconds on the Bloomfield and 11th St. intersection, I applaud you. I thank you for allowing small children to reach the sidewalk safely and to show them patience. I know it is not easy to wait. For those who continue to roll their vehicles towards children as they are still in the crosswalk, that is not waiting, no matter how slowly you are going. As my six year old summed it up best this morning when a SUV rolled towards us in the crosswalk, I’ll use his words to close this letter, “that is just rude! What if they hit us!”
A mother who hopes the next time you’re behind a wheel you can wait 5 seconds.