“I want to walk to school by myself,” Savannah announced sometime after New Year’s.
For years I dreamed of this moment, but now that it was finally here I was hesitant to forgo our morning routine. I realized I was being written out of a job. Granted, it was one I hated, but it was my job, after all
“No, this is what mommies do. I’ll walk you.”
Why was I so resistant?
For years my mornings were a booby-trapped obstacle course, as I fought to get my daughter dressed, fed, out the door and me to work on time. First there is what I refer to as my “mailman days,” where in sun, rain and snow, I pushed my stroller through the streets of Chelsea, navigating dog poop and vendors, so to get Savannah to her Union Square daycare on time. God, did I wish I had a nanny then.
When we moved farther downtown, the stroller got pushed into the closet and my demon became rush hour trains. Why Savannah’s still alive and not another track casualty is a miracle.
With summer came camp and the big yellow school bus.
Yet, it was the school year power struggles that made me contemplate putting vodka in my green tea and letting a kid wear pajamas to school.
Every few days we would circle back to the conversation. Savannah was persistence so I could see the inevitable coming.
On the first day of her solo walk, she was a good 25 minutes ahead of schedule. There was no begging and screaming of “put on your shoes” and “eat your breakfast.” It was too easy, really. After putting on her coat and backpack, she calmly walked to the door and I kissed her good-bye in the way I expect rational people do. When the door closed I noticed something weird. I was sad.