This year my plan is to walk to school as often as possible. Annie was very excited about this talking about saving the environment from a car trip and the benefits of exercise.
The first two days of school we walked along singing “I’m going for a bear hunt” … and variations thereof – “I’m going on a school hunt” or a fairy hunt, or a puppy hunt etc.
Day 2 and I’m tired, crabby, walking to school means no breakfast for me as I want to avoid a Crohn’s flareup whilst away from toilets. I’ve cut back to one coffee a day, which is certainly not helping my mood. However I’m determined, this is going to turn into a normal every day part of our routine, we will walk to school darn it.
The girls sing and walk, Heidi picks up a feather, a large seed, they spot a Labrador snoozing on a trampoline, stop to say hello to each person who walks past. There is lots of stopping, the girls stop walking each time they want to say something, stop to get drink bottles out, stop to put drink bottles away, stop to point at things, stop, stop, stop. My mantra is “Just keep walking”, said more in a grumpy mummy growl than a sing-song Dory voice.
We crest the final hill, and there is the avenue of tree trunks carved into war memorial statues. The girls want to stop and put flowers on the soldier at the corner. I watch as a preschool aged boy across the road opens the front gates and walks onto the footpath. He starts walking down the footpath, I see his mother coming out the gate too, pushing baby in a pram, holding a toddlers hand.
My girls start walking again and we keep pace – the preschool boy on one side of the road, us on the other. Mum calls for the preschool boy to stop, he starts running faster. I decide we will cross the road, but then there are several cars.
While we wait the toddler boy escapes from Mum and races after his older brother. Mum goes running after them with the pram.
We cross the road, now several meters behind the family, mum is yelling at her two boys to stop, they both laugh, it is a game.
Annie and Heidi continue to hold my hands tight even though we have finished crossing the road. “I won’t run away” Annie assures me.
Mum catches her toddler by the wrist with one hand and lets go of her pram to smack him hard. I watch as in slow motion the pram rolls off the footpath and onto the road, a car drives past us towards it.
“Your pram” I’m yelling, my girls hands tighten on mine.
The car swerves, the toddler is dropped as Mum lunges for her babys pram.
Everyone is safe, the family ahead of us walk on. The car returns to the legal side of the road.
“That was scary” says Annie and I agree.
I’m thankful the car missed.
I’m thankful my girls are no longer toddlers and preschoolers who think it is a fun game to run away from Mummy.
We can walk and stop and walk and stop for as long as it makes them happy.
Now go on over to Kate’s to see who else is joining in Thankful Thursday.