School run: It’s good to be outside with the kids for a few minutes every day

We're falling over the line into summer holidays in our place. 

For the last month, we’ve been getting the kids out of bed by crow-bar every morning. 

They’re on hunger-strike from lunch after 200 days of ham sandwiches and a piece of fruit. 

(The easy-peeler oranges have been too sour since April, so we’re reduced to boomerang fruit, where we put an apple in the lunch-box every morning and it comes back untouched that evening, but at least the teachers will see that we’re trying to give them something nutritious and not judge us for being bad people.)

Add in the fact that June has been a bit Outer Hebrides, and we’ll all be glad of a break from the Monday to Friday grind for the next eight weeks.

That said, I’m going to miss the little taste of community I get on the days I do the school drop. 

It starts on the walk along Curragh Road, Cork, where we bump into the same gaggle of people walking against us, bringing their kids to Turners Cross school. 

There’s an African guy with his four kids, whose face lights up the morning when we swap our hellos on the foot-path. 

He’s usually followed by four moms, each with their own kids and a conspiratorial grin as we navigate past them on the narrow foot-path. 

That’s five smiles by the time we turn up Tory Top Road — I feel short-changed if a school-run buddy is missing and tend to wonder what happened to them.

At this point, we usually run into my six-year-old’s friend as he and his dad come out of their house next to Aldi. 

The kids natter among themselves and run ahead, while myself and the dad shoot the breeze.

He’s an incredibly nice, agreeable bloke, so I arrive at the school gate on a pleasant wave of positivity.

Next up is a walk along the corridors down to my daughter’s classroom, and again there are plenty of waves and smiles and good vibes, even when the weather is dishing up a plague of locusts outside. 

This is followed by the queue to drop my son to pre-school where I get a burst of sports chat with one of the dads, who is no stranger to painful disappointment what with being the only man in Cork who follows Sheffield Wednesday.

The drop-offs done, I head back down Tory Top Road, where I have a quick laugh with the grandfather coaxing my son’s BFF up the hill. 

I nod at the postman after that and then there’s another hello to one or two of the parents I passed earlier, on their way back from Turners Cross, and I’m back home in time for work at 9am.

I’m a much better person after this 30 minutes of nodding and smiling. The exercise is only part of it.

To begin, it’s good to be outside with the kids for a few minutes every day, life is a lot less stressful once you step past the front door. 

On top of that, I work from home, my commute is 13 steps up to the attic. 

If it wasn’t for my school-run meet and greet, I mightn’t see another person until 5pm.

Worse still, I mightn’t see another parent for the rest of the day. 

With young kids in your life, it can be hard to get your head up for long enough to realise you’re not the only one putting in 13-hour days between work and parenting and prising bits of Playmobil from out between the floor-boards. 

All the smiles and nods and sidebar conversations on the school run are like a little gee-up to get you through the day.

It’s basically that Sesame Street song, ‘These are The People in Your Neighbourhood’. 

As much as I love summertime and taking it easy, I’ll miss them on the school run for the next two months.

More on this topic

'We don’t know what to tell abuse survivors’'We don’t know what to tell abuse survivors’

One in seven primary school children have high blood pressureOne in seven primary school children have high blood pressure

Early school leavers at risk: Break this cycle of lost hopesEarly school leavers at risk: Break this cycle of lost hopes

Primary schools forced to fundraise to cover basic costs, says teachers' unionPrimary schools forced to fundraise to cover basic costs, says teachers' union

More in this Section

America’s top space-age attractions to celebrate 50 years since the moon landingAmerica’s top space-age attractions to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing

Garbage's return to Dublin well worth the waitGarbage's return to Dublin well worth the wait

Trend of the Week: Circling back to fashion's hottest retro printTrend of the Week: Circling back to fashion's hottest retro print

Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?Are you ready to join the tiny-house movement?


Latest Showbiz

Marvel unveiled new details of the superhero film.Eternals star Angelina Jolie makes surprise appearance at Comic-Con

Marvel’s superhero blockbuster will overtake Avatar within a day, Disney said.Avengers: Endgame set to pass Avatar to be biggest movie ever, Disney says

D’Arcy Carden joined her co-stars for a Comic-Con panel to celebrate the show.The Good Place ending is like a break-up, star D’Arcy Carden says

More From The Irish Examiner