The school run for us can be just that…a run, often powered by excitement to meet friends. More often it’s just a walk.
My daughter started Primary 1 in August. I continue to work from home and find myself working alone, in total quiet with all members of my family now out and back to ‘normal’. I am adjusting to yet another new routine.
Before Covid-19 lockdown in March, my morning routine involved encouraging my daughter to eat breakfast and get changed at lightning speed, so we could leave the house at 8am to drop off at nursery. This gave me time to drive to work, normally a 30-minute commute. Mornings over the past 4 years have been quite stressful, time pushed and clock watching. During the past few months, my days have been intense trying to juggle work and home life.
At the start of this year when I thought about my daughter starting school my first thought was, ‘I need to drop off in the morning, but school doesn’t open until 845 so I’m going to be late for work’. I have realised with delight and amazement that, in the first few weeks of school, it’s the very opposite. My mornings have become much more relaxed as I have an extra 30 minutes in the morning generally. This is time for just me and my daughter; we now read together and play games before we leave to walk to school. Quality time whilst she is fresh and ready for the day.
We walk or cycle to school every day. The walk allows me an extra 10 minutes with my daughter, holding hands and chatting about the day ahead. My daughter relishes the walk as she seeks out her friends that might be walking too; waving good morning across the street and there’s always the opportunity for a race to the school gate. To her, she too gets an extra 10 minutes of play time with her friends. It’s a delight to watch and such important development time to share with her peers, particularly having spent so much time apart this year. But she’s also learning valuable life lessons on crossing roads safely, observation of her surroundings and familiar faces and walking for the joy of it.
I too meet friends, have a quick chat and catch up. Outside of work meetings, this can sometimes be my only social contact of the day. A quick hello to reaffirm friendships.
I am lucky I live close enough to school to do this. I have friends that compromise; they drive a little closer but then park away from the school entrance and walk the last part with their children.
Mornings for me are transformational. I am relaxed, have a clear head and am ready to start my day by 9am. I now relish and look forward to our school mornings!
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