Friday, December 4, 2009

crossing the street

This morning I woke up early before breakfast and I went for a run. It was hard to get out of bed...but I did it and I feel better for it. I ran around Philly and soaked in the crisp air that felt more like an early fall morning than an early December morning. I ran for a little under an hour and ran some errands and even stopped into Good Karma on the way home for a small cup of coffee and a friendly good morning from some of my favorite baristas. Holding a cup of coffee, I decided to make this the obvious end to my run. I walked back to my house, coffee in hand, podcast playing when I looked up and saw two small children about a half block in front of me.
I watched them as they started to sprint in front of me. Both about 6 years old. The girl in a bright pink backpack that flopped up and down when she ran, and gigantic purple coat. The boy wore mostly black and navy blue. They ran together, chasing each other and completely unaware of those around them. I watched as they ran one block, then two, never stopping to check the street lights or car patterns, unsupervised and without a care. As they crossed the second street block, without so much as a pause they crossed the next where the light was not red. I audibly screamed, although I was now three blocks away and walking by myself. They were safe across the street and I kept thinking...where are their parents? Why are they walking by themselves? I was upset and angry..but there was nothing I could do, right? It is so hard to feel helpless and yet passionate to help or do something. But again, what do you do? You watch as they cross the street, and then the next with no parents and no one to tell them to stop and look both ways before they take the great sprint across. Sometimes I wonder if this is a beginning pattern for the rest of their lives.