Here is a photo of some random scooters. To protect my own privacy I don’t want to show you mine, even though I think it’s super cool. (Black Press file)

Here is a photo of some random scooters. To protect my own privacy I don’t want to show you mine, even though I think it’s super cool. (Black Press file)

Sarah Simpson Column: Saving gas money leads to impromptu chats at the school fence

I looked back at my columns of old and learned it was May of 2018 when I introduced you to my childhood wish come true: my 50cc scooter.

I’d wanted a scooter ever since I was 15 and my older sister was old enough to drive one while we were on a family vacation and I wasn’t. I vowed then and there that I’d own one of my own one day and that I would drive it whenever I darn well pleased.

It took about 15 years but eventually I got one from my dad for my birthday. I’ve ridden it on and off ever since, but never with great regularity. When I first told you about my sweet ride, I had just pulled it out again after a few years of foul weather, two pregnancies, and then the guilt (and impracticality) of having two small children at home that had kept it parked.

SEE RELATED: Dusting off my bucket list ride

Well, it’s been a few more years and for all the same reasons as I noted the last time, my poor Scoot-Scoot had been parked again for quite some time. I even half-heartedly tried to sell it a couple times but never quite followed through with it.

Boy am I glad I didn’t!

With the cost of gas these days, am I ever glad I can still fill the scooter’s tank with $12 worth of premium gas and run for 200km before having to refuel. I put less than 50 km a week on it driving to and from work and running the odd errand (because those are the only times I’m not driving with a child or two and can take the scooter instead of the car) but I figure every kilometre I drive with the scooter saves me a kilometre of gas in my car and at more than $2.25 a litre, every little bit counts.

The other day was blustery but not raining so I opted to ride my scooter to work. I drove by my children’s school and to my great luck, my son’s class was outside for a play break. It warms my heart to see him out playing with friends. It’s also a neat peak into a part of his life that I’m not part of. I wonder if he’s the same at school as he is at home. I wonder who he plays with and what they play etc. Trying to get information out of a second grader over dinner can be hard. These glimpses into his life at school give our dinnertime conversations jumping off points.

Anyway, on that day, like roughly half the days I drive by on my way to work, he must have either seen or heard me coming because as I approached he ran over to the fence for a quick chat. When his classmates saw what he was up to, some followed.

(I should say I am indeed conscious of the optics of a random vehicle stopping to talk to schoolchildren. Rest assured his teacher knows it’s me on the scooter. Even so, I try to be brief.)

I was having our usual “I’m headed to work, I’ll see you after school,” chat with my kid, when a classmate of his yelled out: “I know what your job is now! You’re a pizza lady!”

It cracked me right up. I’m sure we can all picture in our minds a pizza delivery scooter but has anyone actually ever seen anyone delivering pizza on a scooter in real life? I thought that only actually happened in cartoons. By the expression in his voice it was clear this young boy thought he’d nailed my occupation.

Another kid piped up, saying: “No! That’s (my son’s) mom!” as if to say that it was my one and only job to be his mother. It is but one of my many jobs and admittedly I’m extremely underpaid for it, as all mothers tend to be.

But that got me to thinking…

Maybe, though, if I was paid for being his mom, I wouldn’t be riding my scooter to work on a blustery day trying to save gas money. If I was driving my car I likely wouldn’t stop to talk if the kids were out playing in the school yard. Then I’d probably miss out on all the great quick chats with my son and his friends. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to be paid for my work as a mom, but it sure is special to have the opportunity from time to time for a quick hello on the way to work.

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ColumnistComedy and Humour