Some parents walk their kids to school every day. Some drive. Usually the parents who live the closest to the school are the ones who consistently drive. I would imagine that National Walk to School Day is a big adventure for them.
You think I’m joking. I’m not. I was taking my turn carpooling kids to school on a Wednesday. If you remember, this is the day the entire school goes at the same time. A minivan had just left the parking lot and was attempting to turn left. Since I was already letting pedestrians go across the crosswalk the minivan was also able to make their turn. Into a circle across the street from the school. I seriously doubt she was trying to turn around in the circle.
I muttered out loud, “It just seems to me that if you live across the street from the school maybe you shouldn’t be driving your kids to school. Just saying.” My neighbor was surprised that anyone would do that. What she doesn’t know is it happens all the time.
So far we haven’t really walked to school on these Walk to School days. The best I have ever done is park at the grocery store just up the street from the school and walk in. The last few years we haven’t even done that much.
We live in the middle. Not close but not as far away as some students. For some reason I got it in my mind that Parker and I could walk. There’s no way I would attempt it with the other two. School starts too early for them. Now when this idea starting forming, I imagined us dropping off the G’s then driving home. We would park at home and immediately start walking to school.
My next vision included me lying half dead in the middle of the sidewalk a few circles up from home. I may work out but does that mean I am physically prepared to walk four miles round trip? Half of which would be alone! Conservatively I thought no. Heath agreed. He said, “That is a pretty long walk.”
In order to ensure my children had a mother to come home to, I cut out the scariest and longest part of the trip. We parked at the top of the road to nowhere we live on, at the park. Even then I was still nervous. After dropping off Gavin and Gwen we went home to grab Parker’s backpack. I also checked my blood sugar again. For like the millionth time this morning. (I never seem to have a CGM sensor in when I need it) And I ate some more.
My blood sugar was a nice 82 when I woke up so I ate a large bowl of cereal. I felt like I was still dropping low as I got everyone ready. So I suspended my insulin pump. Shortly before driving to school I was 189. Not the number I was expecting. I was hoping for a little higher. When we got home I was 190. This was not easing my nerves any. I always worry about dropping low in public. I had a small snack, my pump was still suspended, and I tossed a couple fruit snack packages in the van.
By the way, this is why I workout with a cartoon Wii trainer in the comfort of my own home. I always worry about dropping low in public. I have dropped low in public but I really don’t like doing that. It’s easier to have high blood sugar and let diabetes remain invisible.
We parked and were on our way. I had no idea how long it would take to walk so I was running Parker a little ragged. He had to ask me to slow down. Poor kid! A set of parents and a student set our pace. We crossed every street with them but I slowed way down between intersections for Parker’s sake. It took us a little over 15 minutes to make it to the school. Not bad.
Unfortunately they were out of hot chocolate by the time we got there. Actually I’m slightly annoyed by this. I needed to talk to Gwen’s teacher about a missing library book. She swears Gwen turned it in too so we’ll see if it turns up. Anyway, I saw that there were tables set up with milk cartons, cereal bars, key chains (that ironically said Rides to School), coffee, and hot chocolate. It was a fabulous spread to celebrate Walk to School Day. Gwen hooked herself up with some hot chocolate. Parker wanted some but decided to wait until he had walked later.
The principal was serving hot chocolate for the early start students. The vice principal was serving coffee for the parents. Several PTA parents were milling around making sure the kids were taken care of. When Parker and I got there later it was a ghost town. The tables were still out with only a few parents standing nearby chatting before walking back home. The hot chocolate dispenser wasn’t even on the table anymore. Just the coffee dispenser with scattered cups.
Some welcome for the late start kids. I mean, wasn’t it the school district’s idea to stagger the schedules? And now my kid is being left out because he is on the late schedule? How is that fair? I saw a couple moms with a handful of kids between them walking to the school as I was walking home. I thought they were really late until I recognized one mom as having a daughter in Gwen’s class. I forgot that the late start kindergarteners start at 9:30. What picked over goodies were left for those kids? Or were the tables completely taken down at that point?
Parker handled his disappointment well. He took a cereal bar for later and gave me a hug and kiss before saying goodbye. Suddenly I was on my own.
I saw a friend of mine pushing a stroller across the parking lot. She told me she cheated and parked at the grocery store. She also lives on the road to nowhere. Just at the top of it while I live at the bitter end. Yesterday she biked to school with her kids because they all go at the same time. She was annoyed this couldn’t have been celebrated on a Wednesday!
I didn’t get a chance to tell her I didn’t walk the whole way. I saw her turning onto the road to nowhere. I hope she wasn’t worried she needed to offer me a ride before I died a few circles away from my own. I hadn’t crossed the busy street yet so she couldn’t have helped me anyway. I was fine. I could see my van. Velma would get me home safely.
My shins were getting tight but I never got shin splints. My calves were still sore from all the calf killing exercises Devon has had me doing all week. I had worked up a bit of a sweat too. Given that this walk was supposed to substitute my workout today, I think I did alright. I hope so anyway. Part of me feels like it wasn’t enough but more of me was tired enough to not care. I got on my fitness ball and banged out more crunches before hitting the showers though.
My favorite part of the morning was when I heard a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone that I could think of. I also wasn’t dressed yet. Answering the door in my underwear didn’t seem like a great idea so I got dressed. Not super quickly either. Again, I didn’t think I was expecting anyone. Just as I got to the door the phone rang. It was a delivery guy parked outside my house wondering what to do with the heavy box Heath ordered since nobody seemed to be home. I told him I would be right out. He used a dolly to wheel in the heavy desk Heath ordered. Thankfully he put it inside the house for me. No chair yet. At least now I’m fully dressed.
The desk and chair were supposed to be for Heath to use while he worked from home yesterday. But Office Staples Depot Max didn’t have any in stock so we had to order it. Of course it came today when I had completely forgotten about it! Oh well.
Who knew walking to school could be such an adventure? I feel less like a nice parent after seeing a couple parents who had ran to school. Twice. Once early with their older students and once later with their younger students. All I did was make a big deal out of my one walk! Yes, I still want the cookie.
I do feel good about the fact that I wore jeans and a t-shirt instead of my workout clothes. Many parents were all decked out in workout gear. Of course these are parents who really do run and bike and whatnot on a regular basis. I didn’t want to subject the town to my body squeezed into cotton lycra as if my walk to school is more exercise than it actually is. After all, I had driven the longest part!