Every morning Nguyen and I have been walking the kids to school together. We get to listen to the boys chat about things. They talk about school, desired aquisitions, friends. Nguyen plays little jokes on them. This morning he shook a bush branch while Noah walked under it and drops of rainwater fell all over him.
It is a beautiful time of year to walk because the leaves are turning and falling. People are decorating their houses with pumpkins and corn stalks and mums in all kinds of unlikely colors. Along the way, we collect kids. Sometimes Aaron, Daniel, Zachary. They are all in Noah's grade and we have known them since kindergarten.
When the Noah first started school, I was disapppointed that he couldn't ride the bus. We live too close. They euphemistically call us 'walkers' even though the days of letting your kindergartner walk to school alone have long since past. I resented having to drop the kids off and pick them up again. I spent many an afternoon wishing I didn't have to rush out of the house and interupt whatever I was doing in order to pick them up.
But now, after 5 years of the daily drop off and pick up, I am glad we are 'walkers'. It is by standing around with the other parents that I have gotten to know them so well. We laugh and joke as we wait for the kids. We swap stories and recipes and helpful hints. I have come to appreciate this little community of ours, waving at neighbors as we walk by in the mornings. Knowing who lives on what street. That would never have happened if I just picked the kids up at the bus stop every day.
I have come to be very grateful for our school. It has opened the door to our lovely little neighborhood in a way that I don't think would be possible otherwise.