Long Walks

My 18 month old daughter, Linden, started walking in mid-January. While the muck and ice of winter kept her bundled in the stroller for all outdoor adventures, she sharpened her bipedal skill indoors, in socks and bare feet. Walking out there wasn’t even a thing in her mind.

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Now that the cold is behind us, I have set her free, and she has taken to her sidewalk adventures with great enthusiasm in her yellow boots.

I have taken to her outdoor ambling with enthusiasm, too, as the exertion is a great pre-nap activity to tire her out.

Today, we walked to the bank. She did well on the way there, stopping only to wave at the fire truck and pet our dog a few times.

But on the way back, we got stuck in front of the pharmacy, enchanted by the automatic doors. She loves doors lately–the opening, the closing–so to see a door swing open on its own was just magical.

I tried to move us along on our errands, but we circled around at least three times, checking back at the doors before I’d grab her coat collar and steer her in the right direction.

A simple walk–half a block and back–took about an hour.

As a habitual multi-tasker and usually busy person, I have to remind myself daily that simple joys and a sometimes slow pace are some of the job perks of this stay at home mom gig. It’s hard when you’re used to rushing to tick off a to-do list, to let go a bit and enjoy a toddler’s delight in automatic doors, escalators, leaves skittering across the pavement.

But in a frantic and immediate world, my kid’s snail’s pace is truly a gift. Cars zoom by, people rush to the bus stop, delivery trucks pull up and away again, airplanes rush impossibly fast overhead… And we stop again to point at the pigeons, check on our boots, wave to strangers.

It’s important to do and accomplish and achieve. But it’s equally important to just Be once in a while.

So here’s Linden, reminding you to enjoy a delightfully slow weekend!

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15 responses to “Long Walks

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  3. Can’t wait until you get to have Linden out walking and puddle splashing and then when she is older, watching her out in the rain and getting muddy. I loved that time with my grandchildren and the neighbor’s all loved watching them slide in the puddles on the boulevard. They ended up not having a clean spot on them and there was no grass left but they had a ball. I just took out the garden hose to rinse off the mud after they stripped down in the backyard. Oh, how I miss having these moments. Enjoy!

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  5. I would take an hour to walk to the park, which was 5 blocks away, because when I lived in Brooklyn, my oldest child needed to walk up and down the front steps of every brownstone on the way. I had to remind myself- why are we going to the park anyway? Oh yeah, it’s to be outside in the fresh air, to exercise, to tire her out for a nap…steps or the slide? Enjoy the perk of just being there, watching her discover life so you can see it again!

    • Yes, I’m seeing firsthand (because everyone TELLS you this, but you have to experience it) how kids help you rediscover the magic of the ordinary. I think as adults we spend so much time looking to the big things as avenues to happiness–our careers, relationships, achievements, etc–but it’s important to remember that the little things in life can also be a significant and important source of joy!

  6. I used to put the girls on a baby/toddler bicycle seat so (1) they enjoyed the ride (2) I felt like I was moving! Oh gosh, I remember the feelin’ of being held up. Just had to push through it to make it a win/win. Delightful post and so is your little one. Adorable yellow boots!

    • Thanks, Georgette! I am considering getting a little bike trailer thing–I think it’d be a lot of fun and a great way to get some fresh air! Yeah, I’m trying not to rush the moments when it really doesn’t matter how long it takes, in the hopes that when we are in a time pinch, it’ll go more smoothly (ha!).

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