Parenting Blog

A Simple Gesture

Two lanes become five at this particular intersection.

The two on the left are left-only lanes.

The furthest to the right, a no-turn-on-red right-only.

The final pair of lanes, as I reckon you’d have already guessed, are supposed to go straight. Straight and only straight, up an hardly perceivable grade and back down onto the same road which has quickly become a one-laner, with, suddenly, a brand new name. I probably made that more confusing for you. I’m sorry.

I was in the left of the two straight lanes, three cars back from the red light, my head in my phone, checking Twitter or some dumb shit as a podcast finished up too-loudly through Bluetooth. My window was down, despite it being Jan 22nd, because the sun was shining, and the thermostat on the dash read 61 degrees.

My thick Red Wings hoodie was a terrible idea.

I heard a voice, faintly but loud enough to warrant a looksee.

A woman in the righthand left turning lane had her burgundy sedan idling at an odd angle, pointed toward the gap in front of my silver-with-a-coating-of-dirty-snow-and-rock-salt Kia.

She pointed toward that very gap, tossing her head forward like someone who rarely ever wears a shirt and tie might strain to adjust a tight collar, and asked with a minimum of words if I’d mind. “Sure thing” or “of course”, I said, or something similarly affirmative, with, probably, a little bit of a smile too.

It was 61 degree and my window was down. Aside from everything on Twitter, what was there not to smile about.

She nodded and mouthed, “thank you” and I came back not with a “no problem”, which I’m guilty of too often, but with the classic warmth of an audible, “you’re welcome”.

It was all so civilized, and quick as you’d like. It was a simple gesture coming and going.

A simple gesture of easy kindness from two people, two strangers, going the same way but in different directions, all handled without consternation.

I’m looking for hope anywhere I can find it these days and I found a small dose of it within two lanes of a busy intersection at a red light on a Monday afternoon.

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