First, Second, Third

As we are adjusting to a new routine, I’ve been thinking about an old routine of ours. Throughout the year, I got to pick up my neice and nephew from their schools every Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ve loved seeing the cousins get to grow up together. The kids developed this little routine they do every time we would walk back from Ethan’s school. First, a little play on the bike rack outside the school. Maybe we would grab a book from the Little Free Library and read it on the way home. In the fall there would be a jump in the leaf pile. As we made our way up the hill, we would name the numbers on the mailboxes that we passed. The kids would take a break on the rock halfway up the hill and then race to tuck themselves into the nook between the tree and the fence, always putting themselves in order: first, second, third. They would each have to say it out loud, one after the other. Then they would line themselves up on the ledge against the fence of the driveway. After that, we would meet at the corner sign before grasping hands and crossing the street. Just before touching base on the sidewalk across the street, they would take off for the ledge to balance their way to the bush, making sure to touch the loose rock in the sidewalk on their way around the ledge. After calling out their place (always first, second, and third), they would jump from the ledge (Charlotte with a hand held and a count down for confidence). Sometimes there would be imaginary squirrels in the bush that needed to be inspected with sticks. Then we would marvel at the rock with all the moss and lichen growth and finally balance on a smaller ledge leading back to the house. We would always pass by the same people. This two block walk often took us an hour and was one of my favorite parts of our time together. While I will still be with them this next school year, we will no longer be taking this same walk.

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