Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Walks

Just about every weekend, I take a walk before most of the family pries themselves from their beds.  I walk during the week with the kids while they do their dog walking job, but weekends are for grownups!  My walking buddy is our neighborhood school's lunch lady.  Now, when I was a kid, lunch ladies seemed big, round, and grumpy.  Now I know it's kind of stereotypical, but that's how I remember them.  Well, this lunch lady isn't any of those things.
Lunch Lady Walking Buddy

We have fun walking and talking, and walking and talking!  It is especially nice because she has a son that is high functioning autistic and she *understands* what it is like to raise a child who has a hidden disability.  It is so important for me to talk to people who get it.  So our walks are good for our bodies and good for our souls.  We can process what has gone on during the week without interruptions, without little ears, without judgement.  Ahhhhh!!

Of course, the paseo, or walkway for those of you who aren't Californians, by our house is beautiful too.  The designers of our neighborhood made most of the streets end in cul-de-sacs and made pathways so that kids could walk to school without crossing a street.  We can even walk to the grocery store without crossing also.  And our nice California weather encourages more walking.  I sure can use that!

One of the paseos in our neighborhood.

Also on weekend mornings, many neighbors take their dogs to the back of the school for an impromptu doggie park date.  I always thought it would be cool to paint a picture of people with their dogs at the park.  Some day, when I have time, I might do that.  Here's one of the pictures I took for inspiration.  When I'll paint it, I'll have to change the composition around, but you can get an idea of what I see every weekend morning.

Informal Dog Park

I've learned that for my mental health that these walks are very important.  It's so easy, as a mom with kids who have special needs, to neglect my own health and sanity.  But I've learned that I can't be my best for the kids unless I take care of myself too.  I have to be in this for the long haul and can't get burned out or sick. The walks get me out in nature, give me exercise, and provide a time when I can socialize with peers. It's become a priority for me.

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