This morning my twins participated in National Walk to School Day, as they have in years past. We got everything together, packed up and ready to go, shoes tied tightly (because… well, you know) and were out the door earlier than if we were going to the bus stop. They were practically hopping with anticipation and concern that they would be late for the big event. I’m telling you, such excitement about walking to school — who knew?
If I’m being honest, the only ones truly walking to school are the parents. For the kids, it’s really more of a flat-out run to school with your friends trailing behind you.
I can’t tell you what it is about this day. It’s definitely not just the walking. Last year, I had the bright idea of walking Louie the Wonder Pup and the twins to school a few days a week (so as to give everyone a little exercise), but my son C really did not enjoy it. The litany of his complaints went a little something like this:
- My backpack is too heavy.
- My feet hurt.
- My shoes won’t stay tied.
- We’ve been walking forever.
- Why are we walking if there’s a perfectly good bus to ride?
- I’m thirsty.
- I think I’m getting a blister.
- How much farther is it?
- I’m tired.
- I think we’re going to be late.
- I’m still thirsty and I’ve drank my whole water bottle.
- We’re never going to make it.
Today, however, it was a completely different story, for reasons I cannot fathom. It must have been the novelty of walking to school en masse with his friends and/or the fact that the school had treats like Nutrigrain bars and Rice Krispie treats waiting for them when they arrived. There was no complaining, no dragging his feet or swearing that he’s about to pass out from exhaustion. He absolutely loved National Walk to School Day.
Oh, who am I kidding — it was totally the food-and-friends combination that made it so much fun. I just need to figure out how to use those same incentives to get the kids to clean their rooms every week.
Maybe I could upsell it as a weekly National Clean Your Room Day and give them Hershey Kisses when they finish. Now that would be my kind of national holiday.
Did your kids participate in Walk to School Day today?