I love walking Lily to school. I savor our walks, even during these cold, winter months.
After the rush to get out the door — struggling with coats, gloves and hats for Emmy, Lily and myself — Lily and I hold hands and talk. We talk about her plans for the day, my plans for the day. The fifth grade crossing guard helps us cross the street while I hold the girls’ hands.
On down the sidewalk we go. On snowy days, we say good morning to the man on the corner shoveling his sidewalk.
We arrive at the school parking lot. A line of cars from both directions, turn signals blinking, stop for the P.E. teacher doubling as a traffic controller. We walk to the front of the school, and I wave to friends driving by. I kiss Lily goodbye, tell her to give her little sister a hug, and she trots off confidently through the front door. Even now, in January, my heart tugs to see my baby walk through those doors, a big Kindergartener.
I joke with the P.E. teacher as we go back across the driveway. Emmy and I walk back on the opposite side of the street, talking about this and that. I see the retired couple, sitting in their bay window, reading the morning paper by the natural light. Further down the block, our neighbor is walking to morning mass. Emmy and I say good morning, we exchange pleasantries and go on our ways.
Little things; routine things that happen every day. I appreciate these little things, the small joys of this walk to and from school. Some day soon, these walks will be just a memory; I will have to work and on the way drive the girls to school; eventually, the girls will grow up and take the bus to another school.
Perhaps I am too sentimental; there is really nothing magical about these walks, nothing special. They are barely 10 minutes long, these walks, not even enough to count for exercise. I doubt Lily and Emmy will even remember these walks.
Yet this mommy will remember these walks to school, the year Lily went to Kindergarten.