I love that I get to take my kids to school everyday and I can be there to pick them up after school. When they were little I would carry or push one, pull one on a bike and the oldest would walk. Now on nice days we walk through the forest looking for squirrels and flowers instead of taking the long sidewalk home. On cold days we all pile in the van and we battle car seats & snowsuits, seat belts and winter gloves. Over the years it has gotten more fun on the warm days as we walk and stop to catch fish in the creek and easier now on the winter days as the kids can all buckle into their boosters on their own.
Isn’t it great when the kids get older? You breathe, you can think, you sleep. You get that secure feeling of . . ahhhh . . .I made it.
And then one day your oldest will announce, “I’m walking home . . . .ALONE.”
Ha Ha Ha. Good one. In my head I am saying “oh no your not!” but to her I just smiled. She has done this before and usually by the time we get to the van, she jumps in. But today her determination was stronger, she kept saying it, “I mean it. I’m walking” and looking at me . . . challenging me to stop her. She walked faster, to show me she was serious. She passed our van parked at the side of the road and kept walking.
My middle daughter contemplated walking with her, but jumped in the van as she passed. My youngest cried, thinking her sister was gone from our family forever.
I still didn’t say anything. I smiled. Part of me was super proud of my 9 year old for her independence and wanting to forge out on her own, she still cries often in new situations so this new found bravery looks good on her! Part of me was super scared that I was already facing the fact that my little girl wanted to grow up and forge out on her own! There is no way I want her walking that long stretch of open road on her own. It’s not as safe out there for young girls walking alone. Her sisters are too young to protect her. She’s not ready yet.I’m not ready yet! But today I didn’t stop her. I couldn’t. She was so insistent. She was so proud. She was walking home . . . .ALONE.
So I did what any awesome mom would do. I got in the van with my other 2 children and we drove home doing 3km an hour staying right behind my little girl and shouting encouragements out the window as she walked home . . . ALONE!!
When did your kids walk home alone from school for the first time? Would you have done anything differently?