08 May, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, as I drive Minal…

08 May, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, as I drive Minal home, I approach the stop sign that we pass every day. Once we reach it, I do what I always do: I put my car into neutral gear, I lightly tap the brakes, and then I zoom forward in first gear.

Once again — for the third time in a month— I look in the rearview mirror and I see flashing lights. It’s a cop signaling me to stop. I pull over. He comes out of his car. It’s the same officer that I’ve seen a few times by now. I roll down my window.

“But I stopped.”

He shakes his head. “That was a rolling stop. I told you that two weeks ago.”

I gear up to protest, to defend my case. Just then, Minal bursts into loud tears. The cop looks at me, looks at her, gives me a warning, and then turns around and walks away.

This morning, on our way to Minal’s pre-school, as I turn left onto Dismuke, Minal pipes up: “This time, make sure you stop. So the police will not give you a ticket, okay?”

There’s no question about it. She’ll pass her driving test when she takes it in twelve years. For now, I’m just relieved that my wise little three-and-a half-year-old is there to remind me of simple traffic rules.