You’ll Just Have To Walk

Things just ain’t like they used to be. 

I know you hear this a lot (probably ad nauseum), but it’s really true.  My teens aren’t living the life that I once had.

I’m not complaining.  I had a good life, living in the south end of Livonia in the 1980’s.  I had a nice family, good friends, my own room and all of my needs were met.

There’s just one major difference between my own teenage life and my kids’.  I had to walk. 

I walked to school, I walked to my friends’ houses, I walked to stores, I walked all over.  And I am still here to talk about it.

I’m not talking 10 miles to school, one way, uphill, through snow, sleet, rain and hail.  I’m just talking a mile or two here or there.  My mother claimed that it was good for me, every time she saw me off  in the morning.  “Someday you’ll be glad that you walked all those miles.  It will keep you healthy.  Have a good day at school”.  End of story.

Our three local high schools are all on the same campus, just about a half mile away from our house.  When we moved here 10 years ago it never occurred to me how convenient that would be.  Not only could I hear all of the football games from any given room in the back of the house but our children would be able to walk to school.  No bus service necessary.  The American Dream is ours. 

So, when Eldest Son started high school, I made him walk.  Never mind that it’s pitch black at 7 am most of the school year and it’s damn cold here in Michigan.  By God, I walked to school and so would my kids. 

Then my neighbor pointed out that it was dark, cold and dangerous and, since she drove her son, she would drive mine.  And that was the beginning of the end.

When Teenage Daughter started high school this year I gave her the same “I Walked and You Can Too” speech.   She looked at me with pity.  Walking was so 25 years ago.  She hopped in my neighbor’s car with her brother and that was that.

My neighbor’s son is graduating this June and their taxi service for my kids will no longer be available next fall.  Teenage Daughter asked me how I intend to solve this dilemma for she and Eldest Son.  I helpfully mimed my two fingers traveling across my palm and said, “You’ll just have to walk”. 

“Seriously, mom.  You cannot expect me to walk in that humid morning air.”

I had to ask myself: WWNSD? (What would Nancy Sinatra do)?

Get your Uggs on, sweetie.  It’s going to be a loooonnnggg three more years.

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5 thoughts on “You’ll Just Have To Walk

  1. One of my children said to me, “You mean I have to clean up my entire mess?” Um, well, yes…unless you’ve got an inside connection to a fairy godmother maid that I don’t know about. ‘Cause if you do, work it for all it’s worth, and when she’s done cleaning up your messes, tell her to go over to over to my favorite librarian’s house. I hear her kids could use a lift to school in that magic pumpkin coach…

  2. Is it really SO dangerous at 7am in Canton? I can’t imagine that it is. I have many memories of waiting at the bus stop (which I reached after walking a mere quarter mile down the dirt road my parents still live on) and my (awesomely 80s) permed hair freezing into icicle spirals. I lived not only to walk another day, but to learn from the bad hair of that era. 🙂

    • You know what’s dangerous, Anne? Trying to turn left out of my subdivision to get to the high schools. It would be much less death defying to walk, trust me.

  3. Hey for the record, I just read that by walking for 30 minutes three times a week, a person can reduce their liklihood of getting dementia or alzheimers by up to 60%. You tell the kids (and the self-righteous neighbor) that not only are you thinking of their cardiovascular well-being, but by golly – when they’re 80 they’ll be sharp as tacks and have YOU to thank for it!

    Nancy would be putting on her boots, my friend. Work it, honey!

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