At the end of every day, I wait in the lobby of the elementary school for my ten year old son. This year, in Grade 5, I’ve stopped going down to his locker to get him ready. Other moms don’t do that, he informs me. So I sit on a chair and wait at the front.
Dismissal time is at 3 pm. At 3:25 or so, Aaron appears, a half grin on his face, loping calmly down the hall with his hands clasped behind his back.
In the time between 3:00 and 3:25 pm, I watch the action at the front door. There’s a whoosh of parents hurrying their kids along. They are zipping up coats, jamming on boots and pulling by arms to hurry to their cars to speed away. I wonder what after-school activity they are rushing to.
In a school where the student population is over 800, we are often the last people to leave. We meander home, which is just across the street. It takes a good ten minutes. We carefully scramble down the mountain of snow at the entrance of the playground. We stop to check for mail in the community mailbox. We inspect every piece of mail, and Aaron collects the pizza and fast food coupons. We tiptoe on the ice to avoid slipping. Aaron identifies the make and model of every vehicle we pass, and tells me what kind of car he wants when he has a girlfriend. (Usually a red convertible, sometimes a white pick-up truck). We walk slowly, slowly together until we reach the steps of our front veranda and we are home.
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