Last week, I went down to the garage to take the kids somewhere in the car. It wouldn’t start.
I called James, “Um, the car won’t start. You wanna give me a hand?”
So he comes down and turns the key because I might not have done that part right.
“Well,” he says, “When’s the last time you drove it?”
I stared at him blankly.
“Um, when did we go to the library last?” I say, “Last week? No. Week before last? I don’t know.”
“Really?” he says, “That’s awesome.”
Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reasons we moved to the city, to walk.
At first, the use of the car was regular. My four year-old couldn’t make it to the store four blocks away without being stricken by a sudden and bizarre attack of muscle dysplasia at least once. Walking to the library was out of the question. Walking to Golden Gate Park was a day-long venture.
Once, we tried to walk to dinner at a new friend’s house. It was twenty-six blocks away. James and I discussed it over the phone. Google maps said the walking route would take half an hour. Google maps has considered many possibilities. It has a car icon, a bus icon, a bike icon, and a walking human icon. It does not, however, have a four year-old icon. It took us forty minutes to get halfway. James had to pick us up in the car.
There are many, many double strollers in San Francisco for a reason. They are all owned by kind people.
I, however, am not a kind person. I believe in the power of my daughter’s legs. I believe in the strength of her character. I have witnessed it; I potty trained her. If she can hold a determined turd at bay for forty-eight hours, then she can walk.
And my husband is even crueller than I am. He plans hikes.
And so we made them walk. There are three parks within walking distance. There are many markets, about four we use. There are laundromats, libraries, museums, and two beaches. There are trails and hikes and numerous eateries all within reach of my four year-olds two little legs.
It sounds amazing doesn’t it?
Because one of the amazing things about living in the city, evidently, is that you have to remind yourself to drive your car at least once a week so the battery doesn’t die.
Of course, the downside to all this exercise is more energy, for them. Did you know they could get more energy? They can. It’s crazy.