School’s in … take your time

The Compass - - Editorial -

Wed­nes­day morn­ing, it was im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous that sum­mer — an ex­cel­lent sum­mer, weather-wise — had come to a close.

No, not be­cause of a change in the weather, but be­cause of a change in the traf­fic.

For all of Au­gust and part of July, it’s been clear from St. John’s streets that va­ca­tions were fully un­der­way. The amount of traf­fic on thor­ough­fares was lower and driv­ers seemed less stressed, and a sum­mer calm ex­tended from the deck to the drive to work.

Well, that’s all over.

Traf­fic vol­umes were clearly up on

Wed­nes­day morn­ing, school buses were mak­ing their ap­pear­ance, and peo­ple were fly­ing out of their lo­cal cof­fee shops like their very lives de­pended on grab­bing that first avail­able tiny open­ing in traf­fic.

Overnight, it was like the sum­mer’s re­lax­ation had sim­ply dis­ap­peared.

Ev­ery­one from po­lice forces to tele­vi­sion weather per­son­al­i­ties and ra­dio hosts have al­ready given their “school’s back” warn­ings, talk­ing about school zones and po­ten­tial tick­ets.

But we’re go­ing to add to the warn­ings in a dif­fer­ent way.

For par­ents?

Take your time. Even if Kevin won’t get out of bed and Belinda won’t eat her break­fast, even if you are late drop­ping the pre­cious an­gels off at school, the world is not go­ing to end. It will look a lot more like it’s end­ing if, in your rush and care­less­ness, you find your­self in an ac­ci­dent, es­pe­cially if it in­volves one of the ex­cited and in­cau­tious chil­dren so care­fully not pay­ing at­ten­tion on their way to school.

Things that look like a cri­sis on an av­er­age day pale next to a true cri­sis.

For ev­ery­one else? Take the next week or so to cut other peo­ple some slack. If you don’t have kids yet, or if yours are grown and gone, the start of the school year is a much gen­tler thing. Just be­cause traf­fic is heav­ier, doesn’t mean you have to per­form like a Nascar driver. You don’t have to race through that yel­low light, or turn right with­out look­ing for pedes­tri­ans of all sizes. You could start to work a lit­tle ear­lier for a week or two, pay more at­ten­tion while you’re on the look­out for the un­ex­pected, and re­mem­ber that, for par­ents, the daily grind just got a lot grindier.

Things will set­tle onto an even keel in the next few weeks, and the new nor­mal will be firmly in place al­most be­fore you no­tice it.

The next driv­ing calamity?

Well, that comes when the weather gods de­cide to drop that first small slick of snow into the mix, and we get the an­nual spate of cars in ditches and on their roofs, as driv­ers show that they’re des­tined to re­peat the his­tory they seem in­ca­pable of re­mem­ber­ing.

We’ve done this be­fore, peo­ple. We can do it again

Overnight, it was like the sum­mer’s re­lax­ation had sim­ply dis­ap­peared.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.