Sunday, April 11, 2010

Busing in some life skills

My kids swim competitively, which translates to someone in our family is at a pool 7 days a week.  And since my wife and I are the only drivers in our family, this really means that my wife (mostly) or me are driving to a pool 7 days a week.  Our kids have moved up swimming groups and the practice schedule has changed to earlier in the day and further away from home.  Kids 1 and 2's practices are at the same place, Seattle University, but Kid 1's is before Kid 2 gets out of school.

To avoid my wife making multiple 30 minute trips to Seattle University and to teach some life skills, we've decided that Kid 1 (age 13) will take the bus.  Its about an hour bus ride on the the express, with one transfer in downtown Seattle.  Yesterday, we did a trial run of the trip with the whole family.

The ride actually went pretty well, and even with a slight delay in the schedule, we still made it in the right amount of time.  It was a bit of a stretch to get Kid 1 to ask the driver where the stop was, since we're not all that familiar with the transfer spots.  We've got a little work to do there, he asked, "Where do I get of for Fourth and Cherry?"  You can laugh, the driver laughed too.

We made it to the pool without event and then did a bit of a walking tour of Seattle, but we needed lunch first.  We walked past a few Ethiopian restaurants and a Haitian restaurant and found a great Vietnamese restaurant, The Lemongrass.  The food was great and the servers were quite friendly.  We were stuffed and needed to walk it off.

In the distance, Scout saw a church steeple and suggested that we walk there.  It was really fun to just wander around, with no particular place to go and take in the sites.  The weather was great, the sky was blue and the spring flowers were blooming.  It was the kind of day which makes for taking great photographs.

Today, he did a solo run and we met him in Seattle.  It was met with a little opposition, but his swimming coach thought that it will teach him to take care of himself.  

Tuesday will be the live run, so we'll see how it goes.  He'll learn how to get around a city and he'll learn some independence and responsibility from it.

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