Thursday, November 10, 2005


This week marks the start of Darling Daughter walking home alone. She asked to, and since the other kids in her class have been doing it since first grade, we thought it was time to loosen the apron strings. (Of course, most of the other kids in her class don’t live this far away, and the ones who live one bus stop further get a free bus pass.)

Tuesday, it went fine; I met her halfway. Wednesday, she walked to her friend’s house after school and called me when she got there. Today she wanted to walk home alone.

I left home at 3:10 to walk toward her the “down” way; this is the main street in our village, and the route she herself chose to take when we agreed to let her walk on her own. I thought I would meet her and carry her backpack for her. (I swear—her books are made of cement.)

I walked all the way down to her school—no D.D.

I walked into the school—no D.D. or anyone else.

I practically ran home the “up” way (there are 2 streets that run parallel; one is the main street in our village). No D.D. by the front door, and now it’s 3:35. I run up to our fourth-floor apartment and check the phone messages: she’s at the house of a classmate, about a block down the street. She had gotten home, found no one there, and walked over, which is the arrangement her father and I have with her: if we’re not there to pick you up, go to that neighbor.

It turns out that she had forgotten that she was supposed to go the down way, so she took the faster up way. Her brain was too full of homework, etc., you see.

I fetched her from the neighbor, but now I need to lie down and maybe have several drinks.

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