This week “Carol the Crossing Guard” will finish up a 6-year stint at what might be Melrose’s busiest intersection at Franklin and Main St. For those six years she has been keeping kids safe on their way to and from the Franklin Early Childhood Center, she has given grown ups some much needed peace of mind, and she has been keeping drivers on their best behavior!
If you don’t have a child at the ECC you probably know Carol as the lady in fluorescent yellow who yelled through your closed windows so you’d get off your cell phone while driving, or blocked you from turning right on red WITH HER BODY, or made you think twice about racing through that yellow light. Thank you Carol, for standing up to the road-ragers, late to work hurriers, and anyone whose mind or wheel wanders while our kids are crossing the street!
If you have had a child at the ECC, then you know Carol as the very first person your child sees at school each day. I’m lucky to have two children who love school, but that doesn’t make getting out the door of my house easy. “Are you going to push the cross button for Ms. Carol today?” always gets them moving! She greets each child kindly, even if she is staring down the MBTA bus. She has all the rock star qualities a preschooler loves: a bright uniform for any type of weather, buttons that make lights flash and cars stop, a shiny silver whistle, and her signature phrase, “All set to cross!” Thank you Carol for helping our little ones learn and respect the rules, and for getting our days off to a great start!
For those of us who cross back over to our cars after drop off, chatting absentmindedly with other parents or rushing to get to whatever comes next, we secretly love not thinking or being in charge of anyone, even ourselves, for the 30 seconds it takes to get crossed. For those 30 seconds we are preschoolers again, floating through the intersection without a worry. Thank you Carol, for that little bit of nostalgia each day!
Carol won’t be far. She’s headed over to a different school crossing in town where they’ll be lucky to have her. We appreciate all her years at the ECC and we’ll miss her!