COLUMNS

Outtakes: Drive cautiously; schools are opening

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent
Frank Weaver Jr.

If I failed to remind you to be extra cautious when driving near children, I'd have a hard time forgiving myself. Schools are open. In some districts they've been opened full time, five days per week.

In a few districts, some opened, while others are slowly opening week by week. I suppose it all depends on how severe the pandemic was that was caused by the highly infectious COVID-19 disease.

It's been reported that as of this writing Summit County has opened nearly 70 percent of Akron schools. Each year, however, it seems there are more and more students attending our schools, making that youthful school walking traffic grow larger.

As a result, every year accidents with first time drivers cause injuries and even death as the first weeks of school commence. As a result, young lives are needlessly lost.

This year, because of the pandemic, it's different. Instead of being on the alert in late summer for youngsters walking, we're subjected to it now; in early spring. Consequently, we must more than be on the watch for children because so many times they aren't on the lookout for us. There are too many subjects on their minds, and they haven't even reached our age, yet.

You remember what it was like when you hit the age of driving. I know I did. Ever since we were knee-high to a grasshopper, we dreamed of the day we'd sit behind the wheel of our own cool car and zip here, zoom there and show off to anyone watching.

Plus, as young kids, we worried about more important things than grownups; or so we thought. In sports alone our worry scale nearly collapsed. Did I make football this year or will I be carrying the water bucket again?, we'd ask ourselves. Will I play shooting guard, forward or center in basketball? Or, If I practiced more I might make first string baseball pitcher. Rarely were our minds on class subjects.

Kids today are no different. That's why Mother Nature gives them parents. To help keep them focused on more important projects. Their thinking agenda may not be so important to you and me, but it sure is to them. And if they're not thinking about school work, their minds are floating somewhere beyond, like on the opposite sex.

Should I ask Sue or Alice to the dance next week? they ask their buddies. Perhaps Mary Jo would be a better pick. Naw, she's more likely to say 'No' and I hate that feeling of rejection you get when girls (guys) do that, don't you? And then they just walk away without ever explaining. Why?

Even when they first get their driver's license, as long as he has a pretty, young lassie, or she has a strong, handsome, laddie, sitting next to them, they pay little or no attention to what's outside on the road. They're happily giddy with glorious glee for having passed their driver's test. Now, since they have a valid driver's license, they believe they are grown-up and as a result, this momentous occasion in their young lives calls for a celebration. And, thinking of nothing else, off they go.

So don't be too hard on them. Just be aware that they are out there. After all, you and I were once in their shoes. We all went through that same risky period of life at their age as they're going through, now, and, with the help of adults, we too survived.

So with our help, just like what grown-ups gave us when we were their age, they'll make it, too. Trust me when I tell you that if there was a safer way to get them through this fragile period in their lives, someone out there would have already created it.

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com