One of my favourite times of the day is going to pick Miya up from school. I arrive there between 4:00 and 4:30 and she is usually playing the back courtyard with her friends and teachers. When she sees me coming she runs toward me and I scoop her up in a hug.
For the first couple months of her schooling, I would take her to the front yard and buckle her into the stroller or bike chariot to bring her home. But lately Miya has decided that she is old enough to walk all the way home herself. As you might imagine, this has turned a 10-15 min walk into a 45-50 min one. Yet while we won't be literally stopping to smell the roses, we certainly do take everything in.
The first thing we do upon leaving the school is pause so Miya can choose a little rock to carry home in her pocket. We then walk along the quiet side street which her school is on until we get to the MEC parking lot which we cut through to get to “the busy street”.
We then pass by a Bridgehead coffeeshop where the large storefront windows are often open onto the street – so Miya pauses to look inside. A little further on is a store selling pashmina scarves which she caresses. Further still, a barbershop where there is almost always a man getting his hair cut. Miya will stand at the door watching for a few minutes.
We continue on, past storefronts with Christmas wreaths and trees to pause and admire. A florist has berries, rosehips, wreaths, evergreens and other seasonal decorations displayed along the sidewalk. These require several minutes of admiration before we can move on to watch a display of floating goose down at a pillow store then cup our hands around the Christmas lights outside Kitchenalia.
By this point, Miya is usually getting quite tired and it becomes a bit more challenging to keep her moving. Sometimes I’ll carry her a bit until a burst of energy sets her running off.
It’s dark by the time we get home; on a clear night we even might see some stars.