I was reminded of something recently that may or may not still be a thing.
I’m referring to those bright yellow car window signs highlighted in black that bore the words, “Baby on board.”
The purpose was to alert other drivers that there was some precious cargo in the vehicle so to exercise extra caution.
Whether or not these proved effective in preventing accidents or injuries, I can’t say but I’d like to think so.
The point is, the message did at least get your attention. If nothing else, it caused people to think and be more aware of the choices they made.
As a mom or even just as a human being on this planet, I was always mindful of having others in the car with me — little or big.
My sister, Glenda, was 10 years younger than me so when I was a teen driving she was still in elementary school. One day while traveling down U.S. 117 toward town, there was a truck in front of me pulling a boat and the driver decided to turn left. No problem, except a car that was following that truck was on my right and cut me off to make that same turn. In so doing, he forced me off the road, colliding into the boat.
Boy, was that guy mad. As if it was my fault he had run me off the road.
The thing that most upset me, though, was that my little sister had been in the car. I did not like the responsibility of having to tell my parents, even though the accident had not been my fault.
Perhaps if I had access to a “little sister on board” sign, the collision could have been avoided.
And then I became a mom myself. I remember a woman’s magazine advertising a sweatshirt for sale that had written on it, “Be Nice to Me — I’m Somebody’s Mother.”
Like the car placard, the sentiment resonated with me. I know it’s silly to suggest that folks need to be alerted and reminded of how to behave and treat others but in reality it’s not that far-fetched.
I made my own version and I wore it often. I can’t say that it caused others to treat me better but I wasn’t willing to take the chance. It was worth giving that information to others on my path.
These days we often hear folks say that they don’t like labels. They don’t want to be categorized or defined, which simply means they don’t want to be pigeon-holed or limited.
But truth be told, if we all had signs — heck, if we could all alert the world that we have feelings and we matter — maybe, just maybe others would think a little more before they mistreat or discount anyone they might encounter.
So today, whether you are a mother or whether you aren’t; whether you have as sign, a shirt or simply your heart on your sleeve, here’s to the day we don’t need to alert the world on how to treat us.
I for one am in favor of consulting the best rule of thumb on how to behave and treat anyone and everyone — do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Consider it the old-fashioned — but still fashionable — way of being nice to someone, no reason necessary.