I have a secret. I am a 46 year old woman who plays a video game every morning while driving my kids to school. I know I shouldn't, but I don't have a choice. Really, I don't. I have to play it.
So, here's how it goes. I leave the Naval Amphibious Base and head up the Strand. I'm just turning the video game on and it takes a little time to load, so at this point I laugh and joke with the kids, talk about their day ahead, and what after school activities they'll have on that day.
When I pass the Del, the game is up and running so I put my game face on. My eyes are darting left, right, left. My attention is 100%. Tenth and Orange is where I meet my first opponent. Teenager on a bike, coming directly at me on Orange Avenue. Not on the sidewalk or in the median, but coming directly in my lane AT ME....I can do this, I know it. She doesn't even flinch as my minivan goes by her, ever so close to her bare arms and helmet-less head. But I am watching, so I'm good. She's fine.
I make a left on 9th, head toward H. Opponents right in front of me. Three kids, two with helmets, one with helmet on arm. Riding their bikes on the right side of the lane, as they should. They are trying to trick me. As I pass, I am ready for anything. It's a good thing too because right as I am about to pass girl on bike veers to the left to cross the lanes to say hi to her friend on the other side. Brakes applied, I'm still winning this video game. Your dirty look as I drive by does not deter me. I am still in it to win it.
I'm approaching the school now and this is the most treacherous part of the game. Multiple opponents on foot, on bikes and in cars with grown ups to help them. But, as I've said, I have my game face on. 4-way stop. Car parked in sidewalk to block my view-but I know those bikes are there and just when I think I can go....swoosh! Little one on bike darts through with mom a few steps behind. No "oh my gosh, thanks for seeing him" She just pedals by. That's ok, I don't need a thank you, so you go ahead. I'm winning this game anyway.
The cars stopped in the street and kids getting out in the middle of the street running in between cars don't even faze me because this is not new....it happens all the time. Easy peasey. Don't worry guys, I'm watching so they are fine. Just around the corner there are several 5th grade curbside hosts available to safely walk your child to school, but I get it. You are on the other side of the street and can't be bothered. So, go ahead....I'm playing the game, I'm watching so they are fine.
Rounding the corner I head to the end of the video game. I wait for the texting teenager crossing the street. I nearly hit the mom with the two little ones who cross in front of my car in the middle of the block. She sheepishly looks down and I know she feels badly...the crossing guard is a half a block away and she knows she should do the right thing....but she's late. It's ok, go ahead....I'm playing the game so you are fine.
I head back down the Strand feeling victorious. A little stressed out, but I think that's normal after playing an intense video game.
Here's the problem though. What if I wasn't playing the game? What if I was distracted because I'm behind schedule? What if I blew through that intersection so I could get my kids to school on time. What if I was texting or talking on the phone? What if I was looking down when you sent your kid across the street mid-block?