“Whoa! Buddy, look. The ants are making their hills. See? They dig some dirt, bring it above ground and set it down. Isn’t that cool?”
How can I have never noticed that? How can I have missed that the hills are made from the insides of the tunnels? I probably knew, but somehow I never noticed. Coolness. Today I am cherishing this parenting gig.
Shoes laced and tied. Sports bra on. I thought we were going running. Drop the bigs at school, hit the trail.
“Play park little while, Mommy? Play park little while?” I love his two year old rhetoric. Quite persuasive. “Absolutely. We’ve got time, friend.” Round and round on the tire swing we go. Back and forth on the “motorcycles.” Up and down the steps and the slides until the slides are deemed “too hot!” and he rubs his sleepy nap-time eyes and I plan our run home.
“I walk, Mommy? I walk?” and he climbs the steep hill while I push the empty stroller. We stop to watch the men mow the grass. Discussing each implement. The mower, the weed eater, the sunglasses the men wear. “What that, Mommy?” he asks and somehow I don’t mind explaining over and over. Each explanation a calm and gentle mantra lulling me into a toddler state of mind.
His little hand feels so squishy and warm in my big one. Tugging to be let go just before the sidewalk, not after we are safely aboard. He is that type of child and I chuckle at his push for independence. “That water, Mommy!” he squeals as he splashes through the puddle. “I wet! Uh oh. Socks. Wet.” He’s delighted that he made them wet, but doesn’t particularly like the way it feels. I’m wishing I had other shoes. I love to splash in puddles, but I don’t have on the right shoes either. I skip that one.
We kick the gravel that has escaped the school yard. We run our hands, then fists, then elbows along the chain link fence. It feels nice. More lulling. Until soon the run is forgotten, and I am on two-year-old time. Noticing. Stopping. Walking very, very slow. So slowly that the 15 minute walk home becomes an hour long one. A stop and smell every flower one. An examine every anthill one. A slow, steady meditation. I am completely present. Only in this moment. With this child. With this environment. To-do lists and runs and heaps of laundry forgotten in the spring sunshine with my precious boy.
I learned when one takes an hour to walk that walk one must put a beanie on in the shade because the change in temperature is quite noticeable. That the breeze actually feels cold, not cool, when your skin isn’t rushing through it walking fast. Also that there are a LOT of pick-up trucks and Toyotas in our neighborhood. Littlest loves vehicles.
Many have suggested lately that I learn to meditate. To help with stress. Clear my mind. Rest my heart. I agree. It would be helpful. How do I know? I took an hour to walk with a two year old .8 miles. One of the most pleasant meditative states I know.