But then it occurs to me that these kids are walking home from Cottonwood HIGH SCHOOL and they are well past the age of having their hands held by their parents. They LOOK like they are 10 years old- but they are really 16.
I walked to school from 1st grade through 9th grade, and the distance to the Elementary school more than doubled the distance to the Middle School. I remember when my mom told me I was "lucky enough to walk to school like Carter and Laura." It seemed plenty safe, however, they would leave earlier than I and I was usually on my own, unless I met up with friends. These paths lead through huge fields of sage brush then down a wide residential road that was still dirt, not yet paved, then you crossed 11400 S. (safely if you were timely enough to catch the crossing guard) then you'd slip through an open corner of the fence that ran the large perimeter of the school grounds.
When I imagine Jack walking that far at the age of 7 or 8 I feel TERRIFIED and possibly very PARANOID that he won't end up where he is headed, he'll get lost or someone will flat out take him before he can get there. I'm not sure if we just lived in a wonderful classic age of "keep your doors unlocked" and "your yard is our yard" but the idea of sending Jack down Highland Dr. to walk to Elementary School each day doesn't seem like a viable option. I'm hoping that I'm not going to be one those parents that builds the bubble around their one, precious child; I'm certainly failing at that now- but hopefully as Jack grows up, I will learn that he is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. (Right?) Cause that doesn't seem imaginable right now.
Then again, I remember thinking it was unimaginable that he would ever eat solid foods. So, I should gain some perspective, I guess..