Today, I was caught in traffic in front of an elementary school. Parents were lined up in cars, picking up their kids. A few children were walking home with accompanying adults, but for the most part, it was cars, cars, cars. The sight made me grateful that I had lived just around the corner from my sons' elementary school, so I was able to walk over and pick them up when school was out, at least until they were old enough to walk home on their own. I remember those afternoons fondly.
I used to leave the house a few minutes before dismissal time and walk over to the school, where I'd stand in front with other moms and the occasional dad. We parents developed a pleasant camaraderie as we chatted about our children and their concerns. Then, as the students started streaming out of the building, there came that wonderful moment when one or the other of my boys emerged, eyes scanning the waiting parents until he finally found me, then bounded down the steps, full of news of his day.
We ambled along the path next to the field and up the hill to our house, talking about this or that, or simply daydreaming. Those long ago days seem like a dream now, the specifics of our conversations mostly lost. But I still remember the joy I felt at being there for my children at the end of their school day.