Remembering walking home from school!
Remember those walks home too/from school? Kindergarten through sixth twice a day – seventh to ninth, maybe once a day and high school through my own stubbornness whenever possible I walked the four + miles home each day in a time when it just was my transportation on two feet. Over the last couple of years I found my walking feet again and enjoy the strolls. Would not anyone, especially a six year old boy whose fantasy for over a year has been walking home from school! Today, the fantasy shattered into what he termed his “most horrible start of a Labor Day weekend ever”!
The long walk home consisted of six blocks. During the day EVERYONE in the building knew today would be his day to walk home! His principal came out of the school at dismissal, looking at me in a loud voice stating “Aidan is at the front of the line and we all know he is walking home today!” Mr. Harris’ voice had the irony of “please take him home now.” Looking over the crowd Aidan was seen running the opposite direction down the sidewalk as I had been visiting now with one of his friends mother became history as I went after him along with numerous others trying to get his attention to go the other direction. Child caught up with, the stroll began. One block from school he turned and said “where is the car?” No car child, this is a walk. He just sighed and kept walking. Two blocks from school, “this is BORIING!” Keep walking child, it is good for you. He loudly disagreed. Third block and very sure I had taken the wrong turns (I purposely chose an alternative route just in case he ever cared to try this on his own, maybe the confusion would stop the thought), keep walking Aidan – we are on the right course. Fourth block (I had been making a point of letting him look for cars before crossing streets), he looks one way and then the other. “No cars are coming OKAAY!” I am sure enjoying the nice walk with you Aidan; maybe we can do it more often. “Forget it! I only ride in cars now!” Poor little man, with the nice cool breeze and leaves blowing off trees like snow falling, he just was not appreciating the joy of walking. “Another leaf falling in my hair and it will have to be washed again, do you hear me – washed again because of all these falling leaves, and I don’t even want to pick up leaves this year!” Oh my, and dismiss the yearly picking up of leaves! This couldn’t be Aidan talking. Fifth block and he sees his older brother getting off the bus, the last straw he could take for the day, “AUSTIN! You never get home before I do, get back here and walk behind me so I will be first!!” To his dismay and just possibly intentional his brother did not even turn his head as instructed and while now the nostrils flaring seemed to be fixed into his small face he crossed the final intersection, now being on the straight away from the house and no longer abiding by the rule of staying aligned with grandma on the walk he shot forward full steam down the sidewalk. Just as he went into a sprint his mother crossed unto the sidewalk “Mommy! Mommy! Hugging her as if he had walked at least 10 miles and praying it was finally over. Hearing “did we have fun!” definitely wasn’t music to his ears as the face once again contorted.
I really believe now laid to rest is the fear of Aidan attempting to walk home along as tried in the past, though he did not succeed. How will this walk imprint upon his mind, in the time ahead: six blocks will become no less than 20 in memory and each step being remembered as if he wore lead boots walking in torture and then possibly the memories might still escalate. In Aidan’s point of view the walk today will not find repetition anytime soon, from my point of view I thought it was wonderful and priceless in the memories in watching him walk while making an unbelievable number of facial expressions I am not even sure he was aware of doing and time spent for just a little while as the mind of a six year old school walker imprints this experience in life. Priceless.