I remember when my Mom decided that I was old enough to walk to school by myself.
I was all of 6 years old!
I was so very, very proud of myself and the took the job entrusted to me (i.e., get my little butt to school without getting killed) quite seriously.
I am sure that my Mom’s decision was at least partly out of necessity. She had to get to work. I had to get to school. Those schedules did not mesh; and my Mom was always more the working lady than she was the Mom.
I’m not dissing her at all. She had choices to make; and looking back, it’s pretty clear where her priorities lay; and that’s cool.
Besides, I was fully capable of getting to school by myself. The route was not complicated. Pretty much a straight line from our house to the elementary school.
HOWEVER, there was one big (to a 6-year-old) and busy (to kids) street to get across.
And I don’t remember any crossing guards there.
No, I don’t know why. Maybe they were down the street for the kids going to the Catholic school.
Later, when we were living with my Grandma, there was a crossing guard to get kids across Main Street, which was not nearly as busy as Pine. I know there was because it was an older boy (maybe a teen – I’m not sure, at 7 years old anyone older than 8 seemed incredibly grown up and sophisticated to me). I remember him because he was always nice to me – not creepy nice – just nice nice. Nice is important when you’re 7.
Then when we moved to Bangor Township – holy crap! The elementary school I went to was about a block away (and of course, it was uphill both ways) – but you had to cross Midland Road, which was practically a highway! Cars zoomed along on Midland Road. And there was none of this stop for all pedestrians nonsense either – step onto the roadway and you took your chances.
I don’t think there were many of us walkers going to that school – kids in that neighborhood were few and far between. So I’m guessing most kids either took the bus or their parents drove them. Oh, and no street lights on Midland (and these were the years before Daylight Savings Time kicked in – so you were guaranteed to be walking in the dark for some of the school year) and sidewalks were kind of optional.
I never really appreciated how exciting my childhood was!