Kale is his happiest in the morning and is always thrilled about walking to school. On the few days that it's been raining and we've had to drive, he has been so disappointed. I'm not sure how we're going to deal with this when there is ten feet of snow outside..... I have visions of walking through blizzards in ski goggles and ice cleats. Anyway, I'm getting off track! Here is Kale, posing with his new and improved grin, just before we leaving.
There are a lot of stops along the way, but the first one is always at our neighbour's house to pull berries off a shrub to feed the birds. I've never actually seen a bird eat one of these things, but it's part of the routine now, so every day this is our first stop - approximately 10 feet from our driveway.
Our next stop is to say good morning to the chickens down the street. He looks for his favourite (a black one) and then picks out a favourite for me (always a different one). He tells them he's going to school and then says "Bye chickens! See you after school chickens!" and we continue on our way.
After the chickens, he rushes to a front yard garden. It's really an amazing garden - full of tomatoes and eggplants and peppers. Kale LOVES the vegetables. Like, LOVES them. He kisses them. Then he demands I blow them kisses. I really hope the owner of the house is not spying at us through the front window.
A few houses down from the garden there is a home daycare and always chalk drawings left on the sidewalk from the day before. On this particular day there was hopscotch and Kale bounced along the sidewalk a few times before I urged him to keep moving. I probably say, "Kale, let's go - we're going to be late!" at least 60 times along the way.
As we approach the school, Kale takes note of all the changing leaves and rushes toward a big pile to play. As I watch him play, I watch the other parents rolling into the parking lot in their cars and I'm so, so thankful that we're out in the fresh air, having this moment (I'm sure I"ll be changing my tune as soon the temperature dips toward zero!).
And here it is - his school! Isn't it beautiful?? It was built in 1910 as a school (not always a Montessori school) and is one of my favourite buildings in our city. I remember looking at it years ago when I moved here, but never imagined that my son would go to school there! Anyway, this is where I drop him off.....and then pick him up at the end of the day!
We normally take the same route home as we do to get there and stop at same places - the chickens, the garden, the driveways - but on this particular day, Kale decided he wanted to take a different route. He plays with the leaves, picks up sticks, and skips along ahead of me. Sometimes he tells me he's tired and so I pick him up and carry him, while he rests his head on my shoulder. I know he isn't actually tired - but just looking for a snuggle (and so am I).
Sometimes a walk that should only take 10 minutes, takes us 40 - and it's the best 40 minutes of my day!