This is not really a craft post. I’ve got one in the pipeline 😉 about making bags without a pattern, but I’m feeling a little tired at the mo and my brain’s having a craft meltdown: too many projects on the go, I’ve still not sold a single thing on Etsy and I am always busy taking care of my three little boys. Anyway, the walk back from taking Boy 1 to school was so beautiful this morning, I thought I would share it.
Boy 1’s school is two miles away, in the next village. We usually catch the bus there then walk back. Since Boy 1 started school almost eighteen months ago, the bus service has improved and I could bus it back too, but I actually enjoy the walk. It’s lovely living in the country, the air is clean and there is always lots to see, mostly nature and tractors. Once we turn off the not so busy but 60 limit road, we wind our way along country lanes the rest of the way home.
Boy 3 is happy enough riding back in his pushchair. At least he his now. I did have some unpleasant mornings when he started screaming about half way back and didn’t stop until after we had got home. I guessed he was probably cold. He refused to wear a hat or scarf or gloves and he hated the cosytoes. Anyway, to prove that two year olds are able to understand what you tell them, he now wears a hat, scarf and gloves, and instead of the cosytoes, he has a blanket over his little legs that attaches to the pushchair by means of elastic and buttons. He’ll actually ask for his gloves now if he’s cold 🙂 Much better. No screaming 🙂
Boy 2 has a buggy board, so the mornings he’s not at nursery he can hitch a ride if he doesn’t want to walk. He has walked the whole way several times, but it takes us a very long time 🙂 The world is such a fascinating place when you are little 🙂
This morning it was so beautiful: a perfectly clear, crisp winter’s day. The sky was cloudless and there was just enough snow to cover everything but not so much it was impossible to get anywhere (we had 15cm at the weekend, it was horrendous!! Boy 1’s school was not closed either, so we had to fight our way through it). The snow was actually sparkling, like there were tiny diamonds mixed up in the white icing sugarness. It was like walking through a Christmas card. Scenes from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were running through my head. Breathing the crisp, clean air, with the snow crunching underfoot and the snow sparkling in the sunshine, I felt glad to be alive.
People who drive everywhere miss out on so much. For us the school run is an adventure. Boy 1 loves buses and the bus drivers are his friends. On the way home Boys 2 and 3 and I see so much. We stop and watch tractors, farmers an other people working in the fields. We see birds, cats, foxes. We see the seasons change and what it means for animals, plants and people. We’ve seen the buds gradually become leaves, blossom become fruit, leaves turn brown, red and gold and birds migrating. We’ve seen farmers planting and farmers harvesting. I wouldn’t swap any of this for a car or the skills to drive it.
Most importantly the boys gain a sense of their neighbourhood and a sense of independance and resourcefulness often denied to children who are driven everywhere. They know their neighbourhood. They know where places are, how to get to them and how long it takes (at least Boy 1 does!). We speak to our neighbours, the dog walkers, the people going to the bakery and the newsagents. They know their communities in a way that kids who are driven everywhere do not. It’s not Tesco that’s killing our communities, it’s cars!! Even high school kids near us are driven to school, when they could walk or catch the bus! Having a non-driving mum means that my boys are growing up knowing that, when they are old enough, they will be able to get themselves around without having to rely on a parent driving them everywhere.
I hope this is what my boys remember about being children: the bus trips, the walking, the seasons changing, the conkers, the puddles, the sun, the rain and the snow. Leave the car at home folks, get out in it! I can’t recommend it enough 🙂