As a child I was scared when my mom stopped walking me to school each day even though the walk was only 5 minutes away. I knew everyone in the neighborhood so it was really more about who I didn’t know. It was also about the dogs that were bigger and louder than I was. It was about the cars that didn’t mind if they ran over me or not, and people on their bikes riding on the sidewalk, coming at me riding over my toes.
The one thing that got me through was the face of the crossing guard. Mrs. Conway was the sweetest woman around. At least I thought so anyway. Her husband was a policeman. He passed away and she was on her own with her kids. It’s hard to keep busy when your partner is gone. I think she was just as happy to have us to keep her busy as we were to have her keeping us safe.
Throughout Brookline there have been and will continue to be a big group of dedicated crossing gaurds all with their own personal stories to tell. My sons best friends mom, Susan, has been the crossing guard at School and Washington street for years. She sadly lost her husband who was a dedicated bailiff for the Brookline district court for years. All three of her sons are now serving our country. She has much to be proud of. We have Linda at the corner of School and Harvard Streets and in her spare time nits or crochet’s amazing hats and scarves and who knows what else. Claire who crosses at Linden and Harvard who is a truly dedicated family member. Sadly, she recently lost her mom and their has been other family. She is scary missed when she travels home to Canada. But that is just who Claire is. Although their lives are certainly their own, our lives and the lives of our children wouldn’t be the same without them.
Thank you to all the crossing across America for all that you do and all that you are.