Hello friends! I can’t believe I’ve been so neglectful of my blog for the past 20-something days! I guess getting busy with my retail job and starting work on another blog took up a bit more time than I expected. I’ve been having a hard time finding that “perfect” time to write– when I’m not busy and I have the energy to so something besides stare at TV. This month I should be posting a bit more frequently. My goal is twice a week. We have a big trip coming up so there will be tons to talk about!
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Actually I’ve been writing it in my head for a few weeks. Today I had a chance to sit down in front of the computer and get it done.
Every time I go for a walk, I ask myself why I don’t do it more often. Growing up in Houston, we did most of our walking indoors at malls. Walking outside for the sake of being outdoors just wasn’t something I was familiar with. But when I moved to North Carolina, the generally cooler climate and astounding natural landscape inspired me to get out a bit more. We usually get a handful of snow events every winter and those were absolutely the most beautiful times to take a walk. The crunch of the snow under my boots. The painted white landscape. The snowball fights with Hubby. We loved walks in the snow.
But until I was pregnant, I still wasn’t a regular outdoor walker. My midwife encouraged me to start walking at some point in the last half of my pregnancy. She said it was good exercise and great for labor readiness. It was also nice to get fresh air and to have some time alone to think. So just about every day of my last trimester I huffed and puffed through our neighborhood and around the lake. It was winter so I had to be careful of ice. Toward the end, I’d start having strong Braxton-Hicks contractions. I can still remember how it felt and how utterly exhausted I’d get from the short walk.
After Boo-Boo was born, I would sometimes take him out in the stroller. The outdoor light and air instantly calmed his afternoon fussiness. Sometimes I used the carrier and others the stroller to take him on the path around the water and it’s duck and goose residents. When I started babysitting for Bean he was about 3 months old and our walks increased in frequency. It was the perfect way for him to get a nap while she was still having fun.
And then the months flew by. At nine months he took his first tentative unassisted steps. At ten months he got his first pair of shoes. By eleven months he was taking walks with us. His first skinned knees, hands and cheeks came on those same sidewalks. He loved going down to the lake. “Duck” was one of his first words. Despite my tendency to hibernate in winter months, he would pick up his shoes and bang on the front door to go out.
Now I feel like another year has flown by. He walks with total confidence–often running ahead of me. He knows which direction to walk to check the mail, see the ducks, go to the playground, and look at the yard with the interesting lawn decor. When crossing the street he holds my hand. I have to ask him to do it, though, and sometimes he doesn’t want to.
He’s picking things up: leaves, acorns, rocks, pine cones. Climbing small hills are his new challenge; steps are not given a second thought anymore. Of course he’s saying more than “duck.” He enjoys tearing off bits of bread and feeding them, though he senses danger when the aggressive geese come around. He loves the outdoors. And when I walk next to him on our sidewalks, I’m struck by how lightening-fast time can fly. He’s growing into a little boy and all I can do is follow him.