11/6/09

Gee whiz gi moment

Each Wednesday I help the preschoolers get ready for their karate class. We pop their uniforms over regular clothes, then I help them with ties, belts, and keeping their pants from blobbing up inside their uniforms. Nobody likes blobby pants!

I started telling the kids about winters in Nebraska in the olden days of my childhood, and how we wore snow pants over our school clothes for the four-block walk to school (yes, uphill both ways). We stuffed our dresses and scratchy petticoats into our snow pants, put on coats, boots, mittens, scarves, and then stocking caps to walk to school through snowdrifts up to our tummy-buttons. Life was hard on the frozen prairie, as velcro and cell phones hadn't even been invented.

The third week I told this story while they were donning their uniforms I realized six kids were staring at me wide-eyed.

"What!?," I asked.

"Oh, Ms. Nancy, where was your car?," they said with compassion.

"Cars couldn't drive safely through all that snow," I answered, "and besides, the kids all walked to school together every day."

"But, Ms. Nancy, what was wrong with all the cars?," the kids, now incredulous, wanted to know.

What was normal is now an aberration. Children walking to school--what a concept!

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I have many memories of walking home from school, a little less than 2 miles, down a country road and then, across the meadow and over or under a few fences. But in 2009, I'd hate to see a child walking alone down a road, even in rural Nebraska.

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