We live within what is deemed "the walk zone". Still.
The sidewalks aren't in place for them; the last two blocks would be on the street itself, our street, where drivers feel free to ignore the 25 mph speed limit in favor of saving a minute or two.
If they took the shortest route home, they'd be walking in the roadway for six blocks.
Either way they would cross a minimum of five streets.
I could walk them, of course. Walk up to the school, retrieve them, walk them home.
But that isn't what they want. They want to be able to walk alone, to have that adventure, that foray into responsibility.
I explain that it's not them; it's the drivers I don't trust, that even if we lived in the bus zone, I'd still meet them at the bus stop.
Their shoulders slump. My spirit sags. Outside the window, a car careens around the corner, zips past our house.
I imagine what could have happened had they been walking in front of it.
And so the children won't be walking home from school again today. Tomorrow either.
image: Dalton R. Folwell Memorial Garden, Whitaker Elementary School