Uneven Places

I met him half-way to walk him the rest of the way home from school.

Our hands met for a while, then fell, like all of the sudden he remembered that he was nine, and goodness, someone might see him.

We pressed on into the sunshine, carried along by the crisp autumn air–leaves rustling, the sound of acorns crunching under our feet.

Leaves in Grass


He told me about Indian Dance, the piano piece he’s practicing for his keyboarding recital at school. He looked up at me while he talked.  I looked down at his face as I listened, sometimes noticing our feet stepping together on the hard sidewalk that goes home.


He said, “Mom, you know that game: Step on a crack, break your mom’s back?”

“Yes, I do.”

He said, “Well, when I was younger, I never stepped on the cracks because I didn’t want it to be true.”

<Gasp.> “Wow, Stephen. Thank you. That is very sweet.”

He said, with a shrug: “Yeah.”




I’m not sure what we talked about next. My mind was quiet after that, my heart full. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest moments that renew your resolve to parent well.

Over the next few days, I thought about how much I’m in the car, dropping off here and picking up there. I’ve thought about how the older kids go to school a whole 2 hours before the younger two. I’ve lamented over my choppy schedule and daydreamed about a more streamlined one.  Of  course, it’s okay to rearrange and fix and plan to smooth out the rough spots, but on THAT day, the day that we walked home from school together without anyone else, I realized that the uneven places in my day were a gift.



I don’t have to leave  to pick up another child YET AGAIN, I get to.

I get to walk in the sunshine, mind finally quiet for a few minutes, to pick up another child.

Sometimes we run home to see who can get there the fastest. Sometimes I carry his book bag for him. Sometimes he complains about walking home.

And sometimes, he even tells me that he walks over the cracks.




Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:7

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  • Lorraine Griffith


    • Julie Davis

      Thank you, dear Lorraine.

  • Njg618

    Sam has started to walk home alone this year. Makes me happy and sad at the same time.