Becoming a lollipop lady changed my life. As strange as that sounds, my 5-day-a-week job patrolling a children’s crossing has given me more fulfilment than I could have ever imagined.
In 2008, a tragic accident happened in my family. My 7-year-old granddaughter was killed in a car accident alongside her uncle (who survived) in Sydney. It sent shockwaves through our family and it is still so raw to me today, 6 years on. She was the most beautiful girl and I’m not just saying that, but she really did bring me the greatest happiness and fulfilment. I would take her out for trips with her sisters and they will be some of my most cherished memories. I felt numb for so long – how could life be so cruel?
Once afternoon in 2011, I was having my usual coffee and cake with my friend Hilda when she started to tell me about a mother and daughter at her local school. Hilda was a lollipop lady and had a great time talking and learning about the locals. Some of the stories brought tears to my eyes, but it was then I had the lightbulb moment. I wanted to work as a lollipop lady.
That was 3 years ago and I can honestly say that my zest for life has been restored. Seeing the happy kiddies crossing every morning has made me feel like I have a purpose and that my granddaughter is looking down on me. I almost feel as if I am a barrier between the car and the kids, lest a manic driver plough through us. I feel like I’m doing my part and giving back, almost as a middle finger to the terrible accident that claimed my grandchild’s life. Why be better when you can give back?
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I protect the kids and love the stories they share with me. I miss my granddaughter every day but having a week filled with those smiling faces makes it all worthwhile. There’s a little girl with ichthyosis (itchy red skin disease) who waves at me every day and her mum stops to talk. One time she even thanked me for not treating little Chloe any differently. Of course I wouldn’t, I smiled, she is like a granddaughter to me.
Are you or were you a lollipop lady or man? What do you love about the job? Tell us below.