Last week I was driving from Central London with my son safely buckled up in his car seat in the back. The traffic was getting busier and the light was dimming, day turning into the evening. I decided to use the side streets to get to my destination and after signalling, started turning from the main road. As I was doing it, I noticed that a woman started crossing the road with a toddler, who was fast asleep in the buggy. I stopped and waited for the woman to pass. She must have been deep in thought as half way through the crossing she suddenly stopped, looked at me and started moving back. I was puzzled. I then waved to her, to let her cross the road before I turned into it. She did and then started saying something to me, mimicking and waving her hands. I turned into the road, stopped and pushed the button to open the window.
Instead of a ‘thank you’, which I didn’t expect-it’s only normal to let someone pass, I got an earful of abuse, like ‘watch where you are going’, ‘you didn’t signal’ etc. I calmly sized her up and told her to calm down, stop day dreaming when crossing a road and that I had a child in the back too, so why would I risk him or another child’? With that I drove off.
We live in a crazy world that seems to be moving faster every day. People are in a constant rush, with millions of things to do and problems to solve. I can certainly relate to women with kids, who have to balance too many things, probably lack sleep and sometimes even sanity on certain days. But why, when it wasn’t my fault and I was meant to be courteous, did I get such rudeness from a fellow mother or nanny? I don’t have an answer to that.
Would I behave differently next time? Probably not. I just wish that people stop blaming other people for their mistakes and acknowledge acts of civility and kindness with a smile or a friendly wave. This is all it takes to cheer someone up or to let them know that you appreciate their kind deed.