Today’s prompt for October is ‘making walking to school more fun’ for International Walk to School Month. Yes, the dreaded school run!
I missed yesterday’s post because I had a hospital appointment, and although I have competition to post I can’t do that yet as the website I’m linking to is down for maintainence. But I hope to bringing that to you soon.
Anyway, I’m going to do a twist on the prompt for today’s post.
Twenty Seven Years Ago
Twenty Seven years ago I made my first ever school run. Let that sink in a little, I can barely believe it myself. Especially as we still have a school run now!
Anyway, my first born, or No1 Son as he’s called, didn’t go to school until he was nearly five years old. I loved having my babies at home and wasn’t keen to lose them. Of course when he started school his sister was complaining that she wanted to go and I enrolled her into the nursery and suddenly I was free. I got a job and started an Open University degree.
The school was, literally, at the bottom of our garden. Walking to school was no problem, we could be there in a few minutes (or I could throw them over the wall if late..only joking, I never did that!)
When they progressed to Secondary school they would generally walk to school as I was still working and by this time a single Mum. School didn’t work out for them though. No1 Son dropped out first and had a home tutor before being moved to a different school. Eldest Daughter stopped going to school shortly afterwards and suffered agoraphobia and PTSD. She had two teachers who taught her at home. Which meant I had to be there, so I had to give up my job.
Back To the Future
When my eldest two were settled in college, yep, school didn’t work but college was fine, I had met a new man and was expecting another baby. Crazy, I know.
So, in 2008 we began all over again with my little Star starting nursery. I already had her baby sister, Boo, at home so my hands were full, as they say. We were still living in the same house and the school was still at the bottom of the garden. The teachers had changed though.
When I first took Star to nursery I remember the teacher, quite embarressingly, asking me if I was her mother or her grandmother. I didn’t mind so much. After all, both her siblings were actually old enough to be a parent to her.
I felt a little conspicuos in the school playground, feeling much older than the other Mums. But I did get friendly with a couple of people. When Boo started school I made a friend who had children in both my girl’s classes and also a younger one, which at that point I had the Little Man too. This young man (who was actually young enough to be my son) would call on us in the morning to walk to school together and we became good friends as did our children. Many years later, and with both of us moving house and schools, we are all still friends.
When we moved house we had to move schools too. The Little Man was just starting nursery and his school uniform was a purple tracksuit. He looked so cute, they all did, like little plums.
Star barely had time to settle into year 4 of her new school when she started having her surgery and was put in the halo vest. This meant she had to lose 11 months from school and once again I was having a teacher in the home for her. Her home tutor was really lovely and we became friends.
We always walked to school, even when we moved. The new school was one and half miles away. When the Little Man was only on half days I worked out that I was walking nine miles a day in school runs. I felt pretty fit!
After Star’s surgery we got a car, mostly because she had difficulty walking, and then we got into the habit of driving to school. I’m not proud of this, but Star really had trouble with the distance and we all had to go together.
The Last Three Years School Run
When I got sick (which is nearly four years ago) I could no longer drive. In fact, at first I couldn’t even get up and help the kids get ready for school. So, Graham had to take over, and as he couldn’t drive they were walking to school again for a few months. After the summer holidays I got a car with hand controls and once again we were driving to school. Although, Graham had to come as I couldn’t take them into the school being unable to actually get out of the car without help.
Then Graham learnt to drive and since then he’s taken them to school himself. The girls have moved on up to Secondary School. It is in walking distance, but I don’t like them walking as the area is not so good and I do worry about them. Also there is a really dangerous road to cross with no crossings. I’ve seen accidents happen there quite a lot. They could go under the road following the canal, but it means coming up lots of steps which Star finds difficult. (also, you can get some shady characters hanging out under the bridge.)
Another New School
We had to move the Little Man to another school which is a fair distance away, if he wasn’t taken by car they would have to go on the bus. Graham can drop the girls off and pick them up on the way. So waking to school is no longer an option, but I think we did well with all the years we did walk.
Oh, and the Little Man’s school ran an incentive for walking to school, so when the weather is ok, Graham parks about 1/2 mile away and they walk the rest of the way to school. Is that cheating?