Slow Down Young Man!… by JoAnn

A man on a motorcycle is riding fast.

Every Wednesday morning, I pick up my two granddaughters from home and drop them off at school.  Taylor at the middle school, and Randi at the high school.  I always enjoy doing this favor for my daughter Robin so she can take my grandson Lane to an early appointment.  It always starts my day off on a positive note to see my two girls, with sleepy faces and freshly brushed hair, first thing in the morning.  They are a joy to my soul.

Last week, after dropping off Taylor at her school, as Randi and I continued towards the high school, I noticed a motorcycle in my rear-view mirror.  No more than a second later, that motorcycle decided to pass me, AND the car in front of me.  No big deal, if he hadn’t picked the wrong time to do so.  Not only was he in a no passing zone, there were two other vehicles coming in the opposite direction.  My heart dropped to my stomach, as I’m sure anyone else who realized what he was doing did as well.  He made his transition, in what I would measure, by inches!  Everyone slowed down.  I blew my horn, feeling overwhelmed to do something in the heat of the moment.  He looked back at me and I blew it again!  I shouted, “What are you doing?!”  Not exactly my proudest moment, but I was livid.  

What a dangerous, selfish thing this person had done.  Not only did he put his own life in danger, but every person in every car that was around him.  I could not contain my emotion.  I kept my language clean, but my granddaughter knew I was angry.  Randi then chimes in that she believes he is a student at the high school.  What??!!  My mom brain really kicked into overdrive!  

I decided to follow him.  And sure enough, he went to the high school.  I quickly, but safely, dropped off my granddaughter at the front door.  I then drove around back of the school where student parking is located.  I scoured the lot for that bike and rider, but to no avail.  

As I was heading out of the parking lot, I see a teenage, dark-haired boy walking swiftly to the vocational building.  He had something in his hands.

It was a helmet!  I had found him.  SO many emotions and scenarios were racing through my mind at once.  Had he driven that motorcycle to school without his parents’ permission?  Did they give him their blessing to ride it without making sure he was well educated in the safety required to do so?  Surely not!  Surely no parent would ever, in a million years, want their child to ride a motorcycle in the dangerous manner he just did!  

He saw me coming!  I’m sure he recognized my bright green car as the one that had blown my horn at him.  As swiftly as he could walk, he could not walk faster than I could drive.  I pulled up beside him, rolled down my window, and with him still walking swiftly, I looked him right in the eye and I said, “Are you trying to kill someone?  Do your parents know how you ride?  If I find out who your parents are, I’m telling on you!  You are going to get killed riding like that!”  He never spoke.  Just gave a little gesture with his hand as to say he heard me and kept right on walking.

I have no idea if my words had any impact.  He did seem nervous and anxiously was trying to get away from me.  Was it because he had regret and knew what a stupid action he had made?  My hopes and prayers are “Yesâ€.  Did my words scare him as I intended?  I hope so.  Had I done everything that I should have to make sure this kind of thing never happens again with this young man?  Oh, I hope so, with all my heart!

As I returned home that morning, I was reduced to tears.  This incident left me nervous and upset.  I have 3 grown children, and 3 grandchildren.  I have seen, read about, and heard about, countless parents who have lost their teenage children to accidents.  My own daughters have attended funerals of their high school friends who have been killed in automobile accidents due to drinking and driving, not paying attention, and other reckless driving.  It happens way too much!  All of this was going through my mind.  All the faces of every teenager that lost their life.  Are the parents of this young man going to lose their son too?  That question rang in my ears for days.  I prayed for hours in hopes that if my words failed him, God would find another way to reach that nameless young man.  To someone, his name is the most important in their world.  May God bless them.

I’m still pondering tracking down that young man’s name, and his parents.  I doubt he is still riding to school with the frigid temperatures we have had since that day.  Hopefully, he will mature considerably before next Spring.