One of things I love about fall is walking my youngest son to school. Even though we live in a small town, most parents drive their kids to and from school every day. I feel strongly that unless the weather is too cold or unpleasant or the kids are late, they need to walk or ride their bikes. Fossil fuels and climate change aside, walking or riding bike is a chance for my kids to connect with the outdoors and get some exercise at the same time.
I feel fortunate that my 10 year old still wants me to walk with him. Never mind the fact that he makes me stop a block away from the school because he’d rather not be seen walking with his mom. As we walk, we notice and comment on the temperature change, the sky or discover blue eggshells on our path. We talk about things going on in our lives, current events and our feelings. When I see cars (parents at the wheel, kids in back) whizzing by, I can’t help but think “what a wasted opportunity.”
This morning when I said goodbye and parted ways with my son, I turned to head home while reflecting on the conversation and laughs we’d shared. I breathed in the crisp, refreshing air and felt thankful for the brief time I spend outdoors every morning, a promising start to each day.
Kristin Eggerling is a board member for Conservation Minnesota Voter Center, the mother of two, and a freelance writer in northwestern Minnesota.