Thankful for long walks…with the kids?!?!

When I enrolled Jake for kindergarten several years ago, the school secretary looked at my address and said, “He’s a walker!” If I’m remembering correctly, I think I said, “What’s a walker?” Back home growing up, none of us walked to school, so it was all news to me. It also sounded crazy, as there are .9 miles and 2 streets with double yellow lines between us and the school, meaning that as long as the children were still in elementary school, I would pretty much never feel comfortable with them walking all the way there themselves.

Walking to school has never been an every day of the week thing for us, but we’d do a morning or an afternoon a couple of times a week if the weather was nice. What I came to realize, though, was that those little treks to school were perfect for kid-initiated conversations about nature, school, friends—whatever.

Neither Jake nor Hayley attend our local elementary school anymore, so we don’t walk to school, but we do use that route for exercise sometimes. Jake jogs, I jog (believe it or not), and Hayley rides her scooter. Yesterday’s walk gave Jake the opportunity to discuss his lunch money bankruptcy issues, his progress report observations, his concerns over possible favoritism in the classroom, and his assessment that his teacher is just plain mean.

At one point, Hayley, who rides up on the sidewalk, asked Jake to jog down on the street. He harshly replied, “Why? I’m behind you” to which she said, “Oh, you’re not in my way. I just want to hear the conversation.”

That just about made me cry.

So today, I’m thankful for long walks with my children, who, with fresh air and a little exercise seem to open up about things they never would otherwise.

And if it’s not already too much, I am thankful for Scott Snyder and Dario Varga, who came to my rescue when my e-mail got glitchy to the point of unusability the other day. My email service is with my alma mater, Lehigh University, and I had no qualms about relinquishing control of my computer to two guys whom I’d never met, but who were sitting out in Bethlehem, PA throwing all they had at my little problem. You guys were great, and the email’s working great! Go Engineers!!


  1. Lorraine said,

    December 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Cheryl, once again, you are right on the mark! The walk and talk bit is just what kids (boys especially) respond to. I often get boys to walk with me on yard duty if I’m concerned their smouldering on something or if they’ve made a minor rule infringement. We chat as we walk and it’s amazing what sometimes comes out.
    Today, I’m thankful that I am farewelling my class for the Summer holidays but at the same time there are children that I’m going to miss! When we come back in the last week of January I start fresh with a new batch! I get to meet next year’s class today. We have 30 minutes of “hello” time before recess.

    • Cheryl said,

      December 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm

      Oh, summer holidays–I am all turned around!! I hope you have a wonderful rest–and a wonderful next class!

      And I’m happy to report that we received Alonzo Part II, and it is absolutely wonderful! I do believe that you can convince anyone to pose for anything! I especially love the parade photos–what a treat!

      Take care, and thanks!!

  2. Lorraine said,

    December 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I’m glad he arrived – I think that means young Alonzo and his class will have received their book too! We are still waiting so my class won’t see it. However, I have learned to burn a CD and I sent Alonzo’s class a Photostory and a whole batch of photos of Alonzo visiting with my class. (I couldn’t use photos of the class to publish on the Internet!)
    It was amazing how many people were happy to have their photo taken with Flat Alonzo. One set of the school photos is of Alonzo doing Road Crossing duty with some of my class and parents were delivering their 4 year old to Kindergarten and were quite happy to be photographed and sent to America crossing the road! It was good fun>

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