Most mornings & afternoons I have the privilege of exchanging pleasantries with a chap named Don.
Its usually a brief “Thank you”, “have a good day” or a fleeting comment about the weather but; after a morning spent battling with my kids, stepping on Lego, scooping spilled rice bubbles off the floor & falling victim to the saga of the missing school shoes; that brief exchange is a welcome break from the chaos that surrounds my school run.
Don is the WA Police traffic warden at my sons school.
He is responsible for making sure we all cross the road safely which I consider to be no mean feat. Everyday I see people driving around the school in a way that makes my eyebrows go all the way up.
Without Don, crossing the road would be like driving with your fuel light on – you’re not sure if you’re going to make it but you’re hoping for the best!
He has been a traffic warden for 7 years now. He dosen’t have to do this but after retirement, he said “you need something to get up for in the mornings” and he enjoys the interaction with the “delightful” kids and parents.
In 7 years, Don has only faced 1 “reportable offence” which I believe speaks volumes at the respect commanded by traffic wardens and our need for them at every school. “Mostly people are pretty good, and if they don’t stop when i’m walking out, its just because they’re distracted.”
Safety aside, I also value Don for his consistently friendly manner and the opportunity his presence gives me to remind my children about being respectful.
Always say thank you.
Look at someone when you are speaking to them.
Speak when you are spoken too.
There are never too many opportunities to express kindness and gratitude.
And my job is made easier by Dons approach to the kids of our school in that he is always offering them those same courtesies. People don’t always feel compelled to respond to children like that.
He is also able to tell me when i’m wandering around looking for a stray child or my Irish neighbor, whether or not they’ve already crossed the road or if I should keep looking.
When I told Don I wanted to write about him as my #herooftheweek; he told me that there were “alot more people out there more deserving of that title”.
But I know that in torrential rain or stupid heat – Don will be there to ferry our kids safely to and from school and help me make a positive contribution to the way I raise my boys.
I think that’s worthy of the title of #everydayhero So this #thankfulthursday is dedicated to Don & all the WA traffic wardens; we appreciate your time (and patience).
Thanks for keeping us safe!
You’re our #herooftheweek