Seeing Signs of Hope While Out for a Drive

Today, my wife, son, and I went for about a two-hour car ride, never venturing more than five miles from our house.

The purpose of the trip was for my wife to drop off schoolwork for her preschool students. A fellow teacher had put together a driving route, using Mapquest, that configured the best route for the 15 or so stops we had to make.

My wife has been meeting with her four-year-old students through Zoom as well as posting YouTube videos of her reading classic children’s books as a way to keep the students engaged in the learning process during the school shutdown. While such technologies are great, they still can’t replace that human connection that comes from being in the same classroom as someone.

So it was wonderful seeing how excited the kids were when they saw “Mrs. Borden” in their front yard, and you could tell what a special relationship existed between her and her students. My wife is an exceptional teacher who loves what she does οΏΌand I could tell she got as much joy out of those brief exchanges (from probably 20 feet away) as the children did.

Seeing those interactions between teacher and student was certainly the highlight of our “road trip”, but the other thing that really left an impression on me was how many people we saw walking outside. Whether it was a single person or a couple, I think every street we drove on during our two-hour drive had people walking and/or running on it. As you might expect, many of these people were out walking their dogs as well. And in one unique case, there was a family out walking with their cat. The cat was not on a leash, but it walked right behind the family. Cats being cats, she kept turning around to look at us as we were approaching in our car, but never once moved out of the middle of the street until one of the family members came over and picked her up, enabling us to pass them.

I guess we are kind of lucky in our part of the world where the current weather is conducive to being outside and going for walks. If it were the middle of the winter, I think dealing with COVID-19 would have been much more challenging.

There’s no doubt that this virus has been incredibly disruptive, but it was encouraging to see so many people out and about, and it was especially rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of those four-year-olds.

It made me feel hopeful for what lies ahead…

*image is from Mapquest, showing an example of the most efficient roundtrip route to visit all the Big 5 schools, starting at Villanova…

45 thoughts on “Seeing Signs of Hope While Out for a Drive

  1. Fantastic! I can visualize the smiling faces of these young children. Your wife is undoubtedly a wonderful and caring teacher. I have felt blessed that the spring weather offers me opportunities to walk nearly every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely post to read… how your wife is loved as a teacher, how you perceive her talents and your obvious pride in her…We are seeing an increase in people walking while keeping their distance from others πŸ™‚ I am sad for the many who won’t come out the other side but excited to see what changes it will bring πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think we need to be hopeful for teh future, even though there is a great deal of uncertainty what that future will look like. And my wife is one of those lucky few who discovered what they were meant to do, and are doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a great restorative post, Jim! I can only imagine how your wife felt at the end of the day. It must have been so encouraging. Glad you both got out of the house and enjoyed the weather. Hopefully we will all be turning the corner on this thing soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Brad. We try to go for a walk and a drive every day, and yesterday’s drive was by far the best one we have had. There’s not many things better in life than the smile of a four-year-old!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those kid’s beaming faces would lift anyone’s spirits. I am so glad you got to share that with your wife! I am sure for her it was as emotional as anything gets. You and the family stay safe!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post, Jim. I’m so glad your wife got to connect with her students, albeit from a distance. May we all have a renewed appreciation for the importance of face-to-face interactions! πŸ•Š

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, there are some serious limitations. But beyond just the fact that it is the only option, sometimes there are advantages to using some of the online tools, which allow students to proceed at their own pace, as opposed to the possible difficulty of trying to stay up to speed with a live class.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Posts like this are so good for the heart, Jim. This virus is emotionally hard on everyone. I can’t imagine having to explain to a child why he/she can’t see friends for such an extended period. I have to think that it was fun for you to not only see the kids’ joy in seeing your wife but to see her light up so much too. Way to go, Mrs. Borden! Bless you, for doing your part to show your students you haven’t forgotten about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought the same thing, Pete. I wonder how much of this a four-year-old understands. That being said, it was clear to see how much they enjoyed having my wife as a teacher, and vice versa.


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