On the walk we pair up and enjoy uninterrupted conversations. The kids have asked that we don’t talk about school much during this time. Instead, we share their creative ideas or talk about video games or television—whatever’s on their minds.
The tween and teen years can be tricky for parents to navigate. As we walk, we’re treated to deep conversations (or silly ones) with our kids. I know these walks during the pandemic are further building the foundations of our relationships together. The health benefits are also immense.
It isn’t lost on me that as the weather turns colder, it’s going to be harder to get all of us out the door but we’ve agreed to make it a priority. Without the kids being in school and getting some of their outdoor winter activity time that way, we must create and plan more opportunities as a family to do so.
Our intentions are still to walk during the winter, on days when the sidewalks aren’t dangerously icy or when we don’t have frostbite warnings (in Ottawa, those happen often enough). When we can’t walk, we’ll plan to build a snowman, find a hill to sled on, or skate at the local outdoor rink that’s just a short drive away. We will make it work, because we have to.
In the meantime, we continue our daily recess walks. Each time we seem to add a new layer or two to our clothing, but as with every other walk, the conversation easily flows.