The Unexpected Walk


Today, I was attending a teacher training with all of the first grade teachers in The District.  Although it takes time to prepare for these meetings, I was enjoying the time with my colleagues and learning strategies to tackle our new writing curriculum.

Around noon, I received a text from my babysitter.  The poor thing had been sick in the morning and did not attend school; she was texting me to let me know  her status.  Because I wasn’t standing in front of twenty-one students, I was able to tell the presenter that I would need to leave early.

I wonder what it would be like to pick up your child without needing permission or feel guilty about an unexpected departure?

I hadn’t planned it.  I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one, but I felt the same nerves and anxiety as I do when I travel over the border and am quizzed like a smuggler by the border patrol.

One thing that I noticed while I drove back to my neighborhood, was how the guilt started to melt away.  I noticed the gorgeous fall day instead.

I decided that I would leave the car in my garage and walk over to my son’s school.

I grabbed my keys and phone.  Quickly, I remembered how much I loved this routine.  I miss the walks to the school and the immediate reports of the day.  I don’t get the details now that I’m working full-time.

When I arrived at school, the secretaries were surprised to see me.  This gave me the opportunity to hear their perspectives on the start to third grade. I was happy to hear their reports of a more mature, more secure boy.  One who uses his words to explain his sensitivities and his preferences.  No more react first, then explain.

When my son came to the office, he was happy to see me.  The sweet part was the smile when he realized I was walking him home and the empathy that he showed when I explained that JL was sick.

We walked home, hand in hand.  I miss that so much.  I paid especially close attention to his words knowing that this was a rare treat.  I wondered if he would remember these walks later on and treasure the experience the way that I do.

I am so thankful now for that unexpected walk!


8 thoughts on “The Unexpected Walk

  1. What a wonderful way to reconnect, my son also loves unexpected visits. I am curious if your son has always been empathetic or if this trait evolved with maturity(or other ways)? I realize I’m off topic but I’m working on teaching my 2E DS6 about empathy(school says he needs help w/social skills) Just wondering how many 2E kids struggle with this concept.

    • Wendi-
      You hit the nail on the head! Empathy is a characteristic that has developed over time. We often talk about issues that came up during the day at our family dinner. Consciously, we challenge him to consider a new perspective 🙂

  2. “I wonder what it would be like to pick up your child without needing permission or feel guilty about an unexpected departure?”.

    I’m an engineer, have a ton of independent with my work and still need to tell my boss when I’m heading out early — it’s the responsible thing to do. I also tell my colleagues because it’s the respectful thing to do. Who wants to sit around all afternoon, waitibg Godot-style, for an important brief that never arrived? My kid gets sick, I have to leave and feel no guilt (kids get sick, so do teachers, husbands, dogs, roofs need Energency work, etc necessitating early departures for the office — it’s called life. Work furnishes sick/family/etc days for just this purpose!) — and let my colleague know on the way out that I won’t be able to get him the critical report til COB tomorrow!

  3. Oh I love this so much. I wish we were in walking distance of my son’s school. And yes, I’ll bet that he will remember your walks together, always.

  4. It’s good to remember those walks. My older son and I lost that connection for quite some time…he’s 26 now and it’s just coming back. My 15 year old, however, we seem to be weathering these teenage years a little better

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