This goes in the unexpected joys category. Last week on a whim Noel, Lily and I decided to walk down the hill to school. At the end of our cul de sac is a route that takes us through woods and neighborhoods that put us right on the door step of the the girls school. When Nancy found out she decided to join us. We loaded up backpacks and headed toward the door when a 3rd grade neighbor arrived at our door after missing the bus. She also decided to tag along. As we walked by another neighbor with young kids, they asked with enthusiasm if they could join us. So our band of 7 made the trek to school that day and every day since.
For a moment each morning our life feels a little like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer pioneering new trails through the woods, tiptoeing around random barbed wire, passing mysterious teepees cobbled together with fallen baby Ponderosa's, and marveling at a garden bursting with Dalias. Our first venture accidentally took us through a private estate in the middles of the woods. We waved sheepishly to the stranger sitting down at his breakfast table as our band of kids wandered down his driveway. Yesterday we had to take a wounded adventurer to the school nurse because of a fall. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Maybe a cave or a treasure map. I'll keep you posted.
I have been literally going the extra mile to get to work and find it to be a great way to start the day. I'm going to have to lobby the walkscore web site to give our neighborhood a better score. This has got me asking why we never thought of that before, and wondering about what other daily rhythms are keeping us from thinking of.
In other walking to school news, check out this article on the Walking School Bus at an elementary school in Clark County Washington.
The Walking School Buses will be volunteer parents walking from house to house on a given route in the Washington attendance area and gathering up children at their homes to continue the walk to school. If a child at a given house doesn't instantly pop out the front door, the adult will knock and attempt to roust him or her.