I took a walk with a two year old this week. His mama needed a few quiet moments, so we donned our coats and set off on an errand.
He tucked his little hand in mine as we sucked on lollipops. The first lollipop I've had in a decade or two.
Up over the hill and down the other side, he hummed a little tune – soft bursts of cheer in the crisp air.
There was no hurry.
Used to power-walking, I felt awkward with the slow pace. Until I realized that I had already noticed the watermelon flavor of the lollipop, the sweet tune, the lone autumn flower still clinging to a bush, the beautiful, clear day.
Black truck. Red car. BIG truck.
The lollipops gone now, the chatter began. We named trees, stop signs, colors … we stopped to watch a bird hopping in a bush.
I carried him across an intersection. On the other side, he wasn't ready to be put down quite yet. So I stood looking at the lake, feeling the sweet weight in my arms as he laid his head on my shoulder for a few moments.
We waved to a few ducks. “Hi, duck!”
He jumped off every single rock. One. Two. Three. Jump. One. Two. Three. Jump.
A dump truck passed and on a whim, I moved his tiny arm up and down, and sure enough … honk, honk! We giggled.
Another truck and another. Three times we made the big trucks honk. Three times we giggled.
On the way home, he discovered the joy of kicking the leaves someone had blown to the edge of the sidewalk. With long swishing strides, we kicked and rustled our way along until he decided it would be more fun to crawl like a dog.
(This is where I drew the line on joining his childlike wonder!)
The final hill was the slowest. We stopped a few times ... I'm not sure why. I waited in the warm sun as he looked around, up and down, before continuing.
And as I waited, I remembered so many other mornings I'd shared with two year olds. “Hurry hurry …. get in the car. We're going to be late. What are you doing? Put down that rock. Can you be quiet for just a minute?? Let's GO!”
So many other days when I had places to be and things to do and no time for nonsense.
The funny thing is …. I can't remember why I was in such a hurry. What was I doing?
What was more important than holding a small hand, sucking a lollipop, humming a tune, a head on my shoulder, waving at ducks, jumping off rocks, making trucks honk, giggling, kicking leaves …. or just standing still on a bright, clear day?
I can't remember.
I took a walk with a two year old this week. And I can't remember anything more precious.