Alas, school has ended for us here, so my morning walks to school with Lily are no more — for the moment. Though we did venture out one humid, sweaty morning to take a loop around the neighborhood, somehow it just wasn’t the same: it was not a lovely cool morning, we weren’t walking at the brisk pace required to get to school on time, and truthfully, we should have brought her brother along too (on school days, he was perfectly content to wave to us from the bus).
But on those cool, brisk mornings when we did walk, here’s what happened:
* We talked about god: what she thinks god is, what I think god is, what other people think god is. How god is all around us, and in us, and how god connects us all together.
* We ate honeysuckle nectar – from the same bush, every morning, like a small ritual.
* We stuck our noses in fragrant blooming gardenias and rolled our eyes at the sweet perfumy scent. Same for magnolias.
* We talked about the environment, prompted by the trash and recyclables we spotted along the way.
* We held hands, we sang, we greeted neighbors.
* Lily jumped down into and explored a culvert, invisible to us for years as we flew by in our car. We speculated about where the tunnel went after she could no longer follow along.
* We noticed dew drops on the backs of fallen leaves that looked like glass beads, sparkling in the sunshine, and looked for them every day. She commented on how the dew on the grass, when hit by the sun, sparkled like fairy jewels.
* We waved to friends as they pulled into the school in their mom’s cars.
* We had time for an unhurried, leisurely kiss, hug and goodbye in the school lobby, I felt that my daughter had been properly delivered to school, and then I hoofed it back with my iPod at a more longer-legged pace, arriving worn ass out at home after a total of an hour and a half walk. (And yes, I lost a few pounds.)
You might be wondering when the rainbows and unicorns were going to enter the scene, but honestly, it was the sweetest, most open-eyed, one-on-one quality time I’ve spent with my daughter in a long, long time. I had nothing pulling at my attention (laundry, dishes, a schedule) but her, and there was nothing I could possibly have nagged her about (clean your room, brush your teeth, leave your brother alone, do your homework) other than to perhaps walk a tad bit faster. It was a little 45 minute vacation in the truest sense of the word. And we were doing it twice a week!
Long before Walk to School Day, and long before our bi-weekly girls’ walks, my friend and RPP contributor Out of the Blue wrote “A Suburban Mom Walks the Walk — Literally.” While her reasons and results were somewhat different than ours, I believe that shows what a universally good thing this simple idea is. While walking to school released her son’s restless energy and exercised her dogs, Lily and I obviously had a different, yet equally and fabulously beneficial, experience. I wonder what yours would be like.
I can’t wait to do it again. When it’s cooler.
Red Pill Mama