Ever since school started, Steffi and I have tried to walk to or from school with Sophie and Mollie once a week. It is about 3/4 of a mile; a shorter distance than I traveled to school, but there are no sidewalks and without a parent, it can be dangerous during that time because of people speeding around corners. I like taking the walk and maybe next year I will do it more often, but since this year Steffi has to make the round trip journey of 1 1/2 miles on her little legs, it is not easy. Sometimes it takes a rather long time to get home.
Perhaps I’m just too protective, but I only rarely allowed Maggie and Brendan to walk that distance alone, and not at all until they reached 3rd grade. I walked home along a very busy street in my town every day of my school career from kindergarten through high school (except 7th and 8th when I had to take a bus because it was too far). Usually all the kids walked home. Now very few do.
If it wasn’t for the twists and turns and lack of sidewalks on our journey, I’d like to have my kids walk home most days. I don’t fear them being abducted (I probably could give them a cell phone or walkie-talkie, something that wasn’t available at all when I was a kid), but I do fear them being run over by a car. I’ve had some dangerous encounters when I’ve been walking, even though we usually try to walk on the edge of lawns through some of our journey.
Both my husband and I spent long hours of childhood wandering alone through the undeveloped areas of our neighborhoods, sometimes alone and sometimes with other kids. Not many kids do that these days. Maggie is allowed to wander down around the creek near our house, but the younger ones need to be with an adult. I don’t like what has happened to our culture through the media. What has happened to our children. I don’t like the fact that I feel I need to worry about strangers and my children being out of my sight.
Sometimes I’d like to turn back the clock to a time when walking wasn’t a dangerous pursuit for kids.
(layout: Scrapgirls Pretty Primavera collection. I again put the pictures on the page first and lined them up, then put the papers behind. I had to put the green paper under the journaling so that it could be read. I erased the edges of the mats a bit)