School Run: how far will I walk in seven years?

I'm a School Run Rookie: I've recently embarked on the long-term expedition that is the twice daily journey to school and back (approx. 1755 hours and 5616 miles before high school provides the freedom for both my children to walk in alone). I’ve completed my first year and I’m in a love/hate relationship with the ordeal.

Whilst part of me rejoices that I'm no longer stuck in an artificially lit and temperature-controlled office with no experience of daylight in winter and no sense or perspective of the world 'out there’. The other part groans at the endless routine: same journey, same time, same people, stretching off into infinity.

So I focus on the small things: I enjoy the spring sunshine warming my face, the smell of freshly mown grass in summer, the crunchy leaves underfoot as the year turns, and Jack Frost swirls on car windscreens as Christmas approaches.  And when it rains? Well, I enjoy the rain too.  I don a peaked hat and wellies and make the children do the same - you can't push a buggy holding an umbrella.  We don't join the brisk brolly trot of the 'oh my goodness, the world's going to end because it's raining' brigade.  We don't rush; we enjoy the rain on our faces and splash in the puddles and laugh at how wet we get.

As I say, I’m a School Run Rookie and you, School Run Veterans, may smile cynically at the green enthusiasm (in both senses of the word) of this post. But don’t let those years of the same journey, the same time, the same people close your heart; before long you could be back in that office, stuck at that desk like a battery hen.  Enjoy being free range while you have the chance.

I've made the decision to walk the children into school, rain or shine, whilst I have the freedom to do so - in truth, it takes about the same amount of time to strap the children into their seats, load the buggy into the boot, drive five minutes up the road, search for a parking space, unstrap the children, unload the buggy and strap child number two into it.  I want to live a different way; and I want to show my children there are options: we don't have to take the car; we can walk to school; we live nearby; we're healthy. There's no need to use fossil fuels; we've eaten breakfast and we can use that 'food fuel' to propel our bodies up to school. Many don't have that privilege. We're the fortunate few. So we'll continue to walk to school, in all weathers, and be whole-heartedly grateful for the privilege and ability to do so.

Emma is a columnist and feature writer for Liberti Magazine.

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