Brady has let it be known that he will walk to school by himself.
Well, he tries.
And I let him.
Our sweet Esa is up for the summer, so we both hug him good-bye, and he exits the front door with his backpack on. Then I sneak out a different door to walk parallel along a different path. I check him along the way, and find my trusty cedar tree grove to hide in.
Cedar Grove Vantage Point
Do you see that bouncing backpack with legs in the middle of the picture? That's my boy!
His biggest rule is that he has to walk along the white line. He does a great job of that. And I watch with bated breath each time a car or truck goes by, but he is so at good stepping off the road when he sees one. A little too good, but I would never take that for granted.
So that's a worry off my mind for the most part.
The thing he needs to work on the most is staying on task. He likes to climb up and down the steps in front of the welcome center. He stops to marvel at the culverts in the ditches. He sees birds fly by and wonders where they're going. Sometimes a deer crosses the road, and he has to watch.
Don't get me wrong. This is all very whimsical if he was just out on a galavant. But he only has so many minutes to get to school. If I notice he is not going to continue on his own accord, I shout like a ghost through the trees, "Keeeeep goinggggg."
Well, then he wonders where I am and gets even more distracted.
I pop out from the trees and get a bit authoritative.
"Dude. If you want to walk to school, you have to walk to school," I affirm.
"I am, Mummy," he argues.
"Not fast enough! Get out of the ditch! Keep a move on, boy!" I holler. It's not my favorite persona to embody, but, gosh darn it, he chose that task, and he needs to follow through. There is no coddling at that point.
Then he gets far enough where I can watch him from the fence of the schoolyard. Sometimes a parent or Miss Liz pulls into the driveway and cheers him on (if he's not already late. Oy!).
As he rounds the last corner, I hear cheers go up by the front door of the school. My heart swells because his team is there rooting for him. That is one of the most amazing things about this town. It's so fun to watch all the support he gets from, well, every single person who sees him.
Then I turn around to head back through the park and assess how he did that day.
Some days he does it pretty well. Some days he needs prodding. But every day, he feels really good about himself to try to do something by himself. To feel independent.
Because someday, he will be.
That's the ultimate goal.
Make sure you check out this weeks podcast with an interview from Don and Peg at the Marniner North. Plus, check out my latest Brockway Mountain adventure blog post coming soon.
And have the best day you can!