My sweet little grandson turned one at the end of January, and just like with my own kids, I wondered how this happened so fast. There are so many milestones in these first couple of years and of course walking is one of them.
Over the past couple of months I have started taking some long walks, long in time, 45 minutes or so, and sometimes covering four blocks. For when one walks with a toddler, one does not cover a lot of ground, but what we lose in distance we make up in noticing.
In February I would bundled him up in his daddy’s hand-me-down green coat and we would head out. He could manage a half block or so before he wanted to be picked up and carried. There were times he sat down to exam a rock or a stick because he was still unsteady on his feet. As we walked I would point out birds and squirrels we might see, but his favorite thing was when we would pass a dog.
With the coming of spring, we have had some beautiful sunny days. While it is still a bit chilly, the blue sky and sunshine has coaxed almost everyone outside. By now he is pretty steady, and can travel well, especially if he spots something he wants. Being close to the ground he notices everything, and because he is so curious I too now have got my eyes peeled to the ground.
Our list of treasures this week alone has included: his first dandelion, a ladybug that he spotted and I placed in his hand, a purple flower, a sprig of fresh rosemary, his first patch of daffodils, several feathers, his shadow, lots of rocks, and of course sticks. Often he will hand me something to put in my pocket. One day, after a rain shower, he and I spent a few minutes throwing the gravel I had stored in my pocket in the puddle.
Often when we are out people will stop and roll their windows down and wave at him, but right now he is pretty shy and will just stare back at them. But I always tell him, as they pull away, how he put a smile on their face.
He sure puts a smile on mine.