Those three words

Dear Annie: I’ve got three little words caught in my throat. I can’t decide whether or not to tell my girlfriend I love her. We’ve been dating for three months. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She’s beautiful. She makes me laugh. I have never felt so happy to be with someone. It’s cloud nine all the time.

I know she really likes me — maybe even loves me. I really want to tell her that I love her, but I’m afraid it would scare her off. Is three months too soon? What do you think? — Lovesick

Dear Lovesick: It’s not so much about the timeline as it is about the truth. Three weeks into a relationship would be too soon because it’s too soon to know someone. But you’ve had some time to get to know her character, and it sounds as if you treasure her heart more than her beauty. So if you love her, tell her. I hope she reciprocates, but if not, you’ll be better off knowing now.

Dear Annie: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 24 children are killed in school bus accidents in an average year. One-third of those children are killed by the school bus when getting on or off the bus. One-third are killed by motorists who fail to stop for the school bus. And the rest are killed as they approach or leave the bus stop. All educators talk about bus safety, but they don’t act on it enough. In our state, the law is that children from kindergarten through grade eight can walk up to a half-mile to the bus stop even if there are no sidewalks. Snow, snowplow trucks, ice, etc. — how safe is that? Sometimes very young children are even made to cross the street to catch the bus. Is that safe? Last year, when all school districts in the United States reported how many people ran the buses’ stop signs, there were 78,000 violations — just in one day! How can this be safe? Children catch the bus five times a week. Yes, it saves the school buses fuel to just go up or down one side of the street or to have kids walk a half-mile to the bus stop. But the same people who are fine with this would flip out if a mayor said that to conserve fuel, we’ll all need to take our garbage cans a half-mile down the road to the nearest corner so the truck can make fewer stops.

Is your child between kindergarten and eighth grade? Will he or she be one of the 24? School districts should really rethink their school bus safety. — Bob

Dear Bob: You raise some compelling points, and I’m sure I’ll hear from school administrators on this subject. But I’d like to take this opportunity to remind motorists just how vital it is to obey those blinking red “stop” signs that extend from school buses — and to use caution when passing stopped school buses even when they don’t have those signs out. Be safe.

Editor’s note: Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.