Deep thoughts, Kids

Scooter walks + Social culture

Scooter walk

Yesterday morning we revived an old tradition- the scooter walk to school. Well, in their case, it’s technically to the bus stop, which is AT a school. Then they take the bus from there over to their actual school.

We used to do this ALL THE TIME when they were younger. Previously they didn’t have to be there until ~8:10 or so. Now the bus picks them up at 7:40, so with this earlier time, we are never really ready and organized to walk the 10-15 minutes up to the bus stop. I normally just drive them over quick.

But it was the most beautiful morning yesterday!!

These early summer days are my favorites. Everything is green now, but not all huge and overgrown yet. Everyone’s landscaping looks fresh and pretty. Many people have their annuals planted (I do not, but, some people do, and they look nice!). There are birds galore and baby bunnies and baby geese and playful squirrels.

I love these short morning walks with the boys. I’m kicking myself for not making more of a point of walking up to the bus more often. Now, school is almost done! I guess in my defense, the weather was colder until very recently, though.

The boys were talkative and chatting on about who knows what. It was fun. 🙂 I snapped a few pics to sort of commemorate the end of this school year. I know I have pics of them from other years on scooter walks, too.

On my way back, I stopped and chatted with the crossing guard for over 10 minutes. What a friendly lady! I’d never really talked with her before. She complimented me on “what nice boys I have”, saying of all the kids that walk by, they are some of the most polite, respectful ones that always wait and follow instructions before crossing.

THAT was certainly music to my ears!!! I think there’s nothing better than hearing from someone else what a great kid you have. Because, well, you never really know what kids do when you aren’t around!! So it’s always such a relief to get a positive report when you haven’t even asked for one.

Social culture

It was also nice to just stand and chit chat with someone who is basically a stranger to me. I sometimes feel that I am a little bit anti-social. Like, I sometimes actually avoid situations where I might need to make small talk with people… 😬 But at the same time, I can be very talkative, too. I guess it just has to be with the right people, and in the right situation.

This random social encounter reminded me of when I visited Guatemala years ago. I was in a little mountain town, on a hot, sunny morning, and every single person on the street smiled and said, “Buenos dias!” as I walked by. I’m not exaggerating- it was every single person. The women were all out and about, picking up things from the little markets, sweeping the entrance to their homes with these straw brooms things, or walking kids to school…everyone was so friendly. The morning felt so vibrant. Everyone seemed to talk to everyone! No one had earbuds in or was looking at a phone, that’s for sure.

I think the U.S., at least the Midwest, is really a pretty friendly place overall, too…It’s very common where I live to get at least a head nod, a smile or quick “hi” from someone on the street if you are the only two people passing each other/on a bike path/ etc. (I’ve noticed, however, in bigger cities here in the U.S., or definitely times I’ve been in Europe, that I don’t think it’s as common at all to smile at random strangers as you walk by. Ivan and I actually talked a ton when we were in Spain about how people actually seemed to avoid eye contact. It was interesting!).

But our lifestyle here, where we live, is more of a “suburban” one. We just don’t really naturally have quite as many of those social encounters like those Guatemalan women do (at least I don’t). We drive most places and our lives are more individual/ separate from those around us. I feel like this generally suits me!! But, it’s interesting to think about. I can see definite benefits to a more cohesive style culture, with more intertwining of your life with lives of those around you. I’ve read that studies of longevity also support this idea, too (a predictor of longevity is having very strong social ties).

Thoughts??

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for a long weekend coming up!

A cool pic of Antigua, Guatemala. I did some AWESOME hiking up a volcano in Guate (with a guide).
City buses in Guatemala! They use old recycled school buses sent down from the U.S., I was told, and paint them. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Scooter walks + Social culture

  1. Oh, this is delightful! I love the scooter walk! I have fond memories of walking A to school occasionally when she was at the school nearby. I couldn’t do it often as I was normally dropping her off and then going straight to work, so I was driving… but those work from home days (rare then!!) were a great excuse to walk to fetch her. Special memories!

  2. kids are the best in the mornings so great idea to walk with them to the bus! I am like you, not liking small talks but can be very talkative when I start. I think we usually feel better after deep conversations than about the weather, is partly why relationships and communities are the foundational piece for a long and happy life. Living in houses are not conducive for this, so we need to make an extra effort, but they are worth it.

  3. Looks like lovely morning. Your son in the first picture looks so much like you!! Have a great holiday weekend:)

  4. Your comment on the disconnected, more suburban lifestyle is really interesting – and aligns with something another blogger I read wrote recently about finding the “right place” for YOU. I think that’s key -if you like having some distance from your neighbors, then a more disconnected neighborhood is not a bad choice. If you like more connection, you’d choose something else. When I moved to the Midwest (Iowa), it was a shock to find out that everyone (literally) engaged in so much small talk! NO one did that where I came from! And yet now, when I don’t talk to the grocery store checkout person, I feel horrible! Funny what you get used to…

  5. I kind of hate small talk and generally try to avoid it, but I do like the friendly ‘hi’ and ‘good morning/afternoon’ that happens on walks/runs in my neighborhood. And I can enjoy some small talk, but only if I feel like I can end it when I want to and don’t feel trapped. Ha! I was so happy when they allowed you to use your phone in airplane mode anytime on planes. Before I felt like I could get trapped in a conversation w/ a seatmate!

    The scooter walk sounds so nice! I hope that I am able to walk our boys to school occasionally when they are at that age. It’s probably a mile away based on where we are currently mapped to go but that can of course change! I love these nice spring mornings, too. We just have not had very many!

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