Walking to School

I live near an elementary school and because I live in a small city,  most kids walk to the neighborhood school.  Most of the kids and their parents escape my notice except for one.

She is usually bundled up in a coat, hat and scarf.  Sometimes she wears mittens.  The backpack she carries must be heavy for she compensates for its weight by leaning forward as she walks.  She appears resigned as she trudges along to her daily meeting with destiny – teachers, friends and schoolwork.

He usually walks behind her.  It is always at a relaxed and easy pace.  He holds her hand as they cross the street – waiting for the crossing guard to clear the way like Moses parting the waters.  They walk safely to the other side and continue on their way to the school.

He is much older than she is.  He may be a father who had a her late in life but I am thinking he is her grandfather. He just gives off that aura.

They rarely talk as far as I can tell but their bond speaks volumes. She walks with an assurance of safety because he is there.  He is there no matter how cold it is or if it is raining or if he would rather be home drinking his coffee.  He envelopes her with such love and affection that it is palpable by her and by others they pass on the street.

I imagine that at the end of the day he is waiting for her at the school gate. Perhaps they talk about her day as they begin their walk home. She waves goodbye to her friends and then they return home, walking in love and security.