I've asked nicely four times and shouted twice for Jude to get on his shoes. No matter how early we get up and how organized I try to be, it seems we are always rushing to get out the door. I pour my lukewarm coffee into a to-go mug, make sure Jude has his lunch, and tuck Ronan into his stroller with the remainder of his breakfast. Then we step outside and head off on our half mile walk to school. We fill our lungs with fresh air and get our blood pumping. We spot birds, cool clouds, and friendly neighbors. By the time we make it to school all of us are in better moods.
Jude has spent a little energy and gotten a nice dose of outside time before he is expected to sit inside and pay attention. I've gotten some exercise and more importantly, out of my own head, suddenly the day full of tasks feels much less daunting. And Ronan has gotten a chance to spot doggies and chatter away uninterrupted.
When it was time to sign Jude up for kindergarten I did what I think a lot of parents do, I freaked out. I toured a bunch of schools and tried to figure out how to get him into the best possible school. Then I took a deep breath and enrolled him in our neighborhood public school. So far we really love the school. (Note, this is a fabulous article about choosing public school.) Jude has an amazing teacher and we have both made good friends. But the thing I love most about our school is that it's close enough to walk every morning and most afternoons (Ronan's nap permitting). The luxury of not having to strap everyone into the car is not lost on me. And since we live in California it is rare that the weather is truly bad enough to skip our morning constitutional. It's a simple thing, but it has made our lives better.
I'm sure there are times that the neighbors think we're nuts, when we head out in rain gear or see me jogging in jeans behind Jude's scooter on a particularly rushed day, but we love our walk too much to skip it.
If you have the opportunity to walk (or roll) to school (or work), I encourage you to give it a try. It really is a lovely way to start your day.