Monday, October 17, 2011

Walk and Roll Week

Last week was Edmunds Elementary School's Walk and Roll Week. I still ride to work until the time change - our pattern is to drop number two son off at school and I continue my commute.

This is my youngest son's preferred way to get to school. He is an okay bike rider; he can keep a good pace but is rather erratic about holding a straight line. I'm always yelling "look up!" as he often crosses over the imaginary center line. He loves inline skating, however, especially cruising down a hill in front of our house with his arms straight out behind him (I try not to look) or whooping it up on the half mile descent to school (sidewalk only). Fortunately he brakes effectively, enough to make me comfortable following him on my bike.


I haven't noticed more scooters, bikers, or skaters traveling this week, but the usual crowd is always there, converging on the crossing guards at busy corners. Recorded attendance, however, placed the rollers and riders at over 50% for the week. In the school yard, my son scrambles to remove his skates while I grab his shoes from his backpack in an effort to hurry him into school.


On Friday, sheets of rain fell and I overslept. With umbrellas sheltering us, we ran to catch the bus. We were too late. I sighed and was frustrated, ready to wait for the next bus, but my son, ever the optimist, asked to walk. Either way, he was going to be late. We set off through the University campus, across grassy fields, beneath autumn's colorful canopy, and arrived at his school more relaxed.

After he went inside, I walked away with a smile. We are late for his school day more often than I care to admit, but we no longer rely on our car for transportation. Years ago I instilled into both children that we live close enough to their schools to walk, ride a bike, or take the free shuttle bus. Our youngest boy embraces this idea to the point of walking in the rain - I admire his approach and attitude. It's times like this, I feel like I'm doing something right as a parent.


3 comments:

  1. I definitely think you're doing something right Annie :) I was raised in an English village by a blind mother. We walked for miles as the primary form of transport, only using the car for a family Sunday drive (after dad had washed it as it spent the week on building sites).

    Not wanting to get on my soapbox, but, one of the things I find disturbing today is this notion of exercise being something additional to your daily habits, not naturally a part of your day. I can't get my head around people driving 5 miles to a gym to spend an hour walking on a treadmill. It worries me that kids often no longer see physical movement as a natural part of their day, or gain a sense of self-reliance and confidence by being reponsible for getting places on their own 2 feet (or pedals).

    When we got to Australia Mum was aghast at the fact that people got in the car to drive their kids a mile to school, or even worse 300 yards to pick up groceries. She used to say 'Aussies should come out of the womb with little wheels on their bums'.

    I have very fond memories of walking or cycling to school with mum. The cycling ones are perhaps not so tranquil as when your mother is legally blind and still insists on pedalling you have to do a lot of yelling directions (often with a sense of urgency).

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  2. My boy rides a bike on the weekend, but "commutes" to school on a scooter. I agree about resisting the car based dropoff temptation.

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  3. I love the idea of biking to school. In our neighborhood, there is NO walk/bike option....horrible.

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