Travelling With Jamie

By Kevin Anderson | All Posts

Sep 06

The Short Walk To Freedom

It’s a walk of some 0.2 miles. It should take approximately 4 minutes, but with a five-year-old, laden with a brand new school bag, it took considerably longer.

Mum’s & dad’s asked if I’d taken a few days off on holiday to be there for Jamie’s big day. That seemed logical, so I went along with it. When I was still escorting Jamie the following week, the same people asked “Still on holiday?” I said yes again.

When I was there three weeks later, someone suggested that I was “working from home” – again that seemed plausible – so I replied in the affirmative.

It took a while before one day; I finally admitted that I was off my work with a ‘stress-related illness.’

That was in August 2014.

The intention was always to get me well and find a new job that would be less stressful and more enjoyable. But the simple act of walking Jamie to and from school gave me the time to think. The more I walked, the more I thought, and the more I realised that working for anyone was the wrong thing for me to do.

The dropping off & picking up of Jamie was the only thing I needed to do. There was nothing else on my agenda – other than the small matter of deciding what to do with the rest of my life.

With each round trip to Inchture Primary, my resolve grew stronger, as did the bond with Jamie. We talked nonsense, we laughed, discussed school diners, his new classmates and connected on a different level. I realised just how much I’d missed out on with his older brothers. I’d missed so much – far too much. I’ll never let that happen again.

Freedom, finding true happiness, having a life again – all made possible by the simple act of walking Jamie to and from school.

I’ve shared this story before, but it wasn’t until the closing moments of Marcus Sheridan’s keynote speech at The Content Marketing Conference in Edinburgh that I realised the full significance of the morning school run.

Marcus will be joined on his international travels by his daughter Danielle, who will chronicle their adventure on her ’Traveling With Dad’ blog. I had my much smaller scale journey, but ‘Traveling with Jamie’ started the process of getting me well again – my short walk to freedom.

This post is dedicated to Marcus & Danielle Sheridan and of course Jamie.


About the Author

I'm Kevin Anderson, the captain of the good ship Square Tree Marketing, an average husband and father to three highly entertaining boys.

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(3) comments

Chris Marr September 10, 2015

Hey Kev,

I less that 4 months time I’ll be a Dad for the first time.

This short story from you has made me think about how important it will be for me to spend quality time with both my wife and my child when he/she arrives.

I want to be the Dad that walks my kid to school.


    Kevin Anderson September 13, 2015

    Hi Chris,

    Everyone had their own reason for feeling emotional during Marcus’s closing address. This post explains my own.

    Being a dad is the greatest gift I’ve been given, and since leaving D.C. Thomson I feel like I’ve had the opportunity to become DAD 2.0. An upgraded, better dad who gets to enjoy more time, more enjoyably with his crazy little dudes and of course my amazingly supportive wife.

    She is awesome everyday.

    Thanks again Chris and I can’t wait to meet Junior when he/she arrives.


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