“Let’s go for a walk.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have said those words. Usually they are said either close to nap time or at the end of the day when my nerves have been shot. We have to get out of the house so I say,
“Who wants to go for a walk?”
Sometimes the kids jump at the chance and other times it is like pulling teeth. But we go, we all walk down our street.
It is an activity that every one likes. It is something that will keep the fighting and bickering at bay. It is something that will allow me to just be able to have a few moments of quiet.
But recently, I realized that going for a walk is something that I found myself wanting to do more and more.
For you see, on these walks I get to really see my children. Their personalities come shining out. I get to walk with each one separately and share a conversation with them. I get a glimpse into their own little world.
I watch Claire run up ahead. I watch her run back and tell me, “I run fass, Mom. Run fass.” I see independence and self confidence burst from her in each step she takes, getting farther and farther ahead. But I also see her come back to what is safe and secure. This makes me smile; her want to explore the world but yet always hold onto where she came from near. I hope this is a trait that she carries with her for the rest of her life.
I watch Quinn slowly linger behind, finger in his mouth, cautious about each new step, always keeping his eyes on me. I see the hesitation in his eyes, he is not sure about this whole thing. But then I listen to him refuse to hold my hand. It is as if he is saying, ‘I want to do this by myself. I can do this by myself. I will do this by myself’. He rarely will say a word, it is like he is in silent meditation as he looks around. He takes it all in to ponder.
I watch Jake, run and dart all over the place, seemingly careless about where he goes. But that is really not what he is doing. He is trying to take in as much as the world as he can. He must see, touch, smell, feel everything around him. But after running on ahead and taking many, many things in, he comes back, slips his hand into mind and tells me about it all. I do not always understand all the words but I can feel his excitement and wonder. And I can hear it in his voice.
I watch Hayden. Hayden the oldest, the leader of the pack. He tries to act bored and annoyed with this act of a simple walk. He sighs and scuffs his feet with each step. But then his curiosity and adventurous spirit get the best of him. He must explore all he sees (much like Jake, in fact I am sure this is where Jake learned this). Then when his arms are full of his latest treasures, he will walk along side me and ask questions. Some of which are easy and I know the answer right away but others that are profound and full of insight too great for his age. Those I can’t answer so we just walk, hand in hand.
All this from a simple walk down the road. A simple act that just put us together and gave us the time to be together.
So, let’s go for a walk.
This post has been a part of Writer’s Workshop.