FIVE is the number of fingers on each of my hands, toes on each foot and the number of times I was nearly run over entering and leaving the school yard this week! REALLY …
FIVE is also the number of days per week, I walk my children to and from school. It started as a way to make sure that we all got some exercise (Lizzy, Sam and I) and some fresh air for Georgia. But, it has become something much, much more.
The walk is not an especially long one … about 1 Km (0.6 miles) each way. With the kids it takes about ten minutes and it is a great ten minutes. It’s twenty minutes each day with my children and no interuptions. There is time for impromptu races, spelling practise, nature talks, safety lessons and sometimes just panicked ‘we’re late’ power-walking. There is plenty of time for talking too, “I am sorry I yelled and I love you” talks after hectic mornings and “who’d you play with at recess?” talks on the way home. Some days are ‘knock-knock’ days and other days (MINUS 40 degree days), you just put your head down and WALK-RUN because it’s so darn cold you can’t talk.
Yes, we walk everyday (I’ve missed three mornings – two sick and one below -40 degrees and husband insisted he drive the kids). Many days a kind neighbor or friend try to pick us up and give us a ride, we say, “No, thanks we want to walk”. Now this wasn’t the truth in the beginning, walking was hard for all of us. Sam cried and I yelled (at Sam to get walking). Each day when I’d walk to pick him up, he’d ask, “did you drive today?” … “NO, I didn’t drive, we’re NOT driving, we LIKE walking!” … “ahhhhhh!”
We’ve become great friends walking because we walk ALONE. Not because we have no friends, it’s because the whole darn world seems to drive! Which brings me back to nearly being run over FIVE times. We have a terrible traffic issue around our school and the school across the street. With 1000 students in the two buildings and just a handful of children walking there is chaos each morning. Everybody is in a hurry and it just gets down right dangerous. The parking and traffic issue is a BIG issue in our school community. There are parent patrols, RCMP patrols, student crossing guards and Principals monitoring all of it. Still nobody walks …
There are other issues surrounding the driving we all do:
I challenge you all to get out there, and do yourselves, your kids and your planet a favor and walk somewhere that you need to go.