The last time I walked to school with the kids with any regularity, my first-grader son would trudge along, and he often wanted to hold hands--even though I was pushing a stroller with my daughter in it, even though I was constantly urging him to pick up the pace.
I've started to walk the kids to school in the morning again, about once a week. My son, now 10 years old, dashes out the door as soon as he sees the neighborhood pack of boys walking up the street. I don't see him until after school. My daughter hesitates as I come down our front steps, then she hurries up the road to walk with her friend. She does want me to wait in line at school with her, so right before she gets to the school, she stops and waits, until she sees me and my cane.
I remember walking to school many years ago with my two sisters. I was the youngest. Every four or five steps, I would have to run to catch up. Sometimes I can hear my own childish voice:
"Wait, wait!" I say with panic in my voice, "I can't keep up!"
3 hours ago