Today I didn’t have the little girl I normally babysit, so in the morning I decided to take Odin on a walk in our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is really lovely and I was so excited to watch Odin explore. Normally I put him in the sling and we walk along at my pace and he enjoys every bit of it, but I was curious to see what would happen if we went along at his pace (I brought the sling just in case). I imagined we’d walk from house to house and explore the flowers and the mailboxes, maybe come across a dog or two. We’d run down the street and see all different things. I’d have to run to keep up with him. But it didn’t quite end up that way.
We left our front courtyard which opens up into the driveway. Odin ran through the courtyard to get to our front gate and ran right out. After only a few feet he stopped and sat right down next to the car. I stood near him urging him to come along, we had to at least make it into the yard! For 45 minutes, he played with the shells in the shell driveway. He would get up and move to a new spot in the driveway every now and then, but we stayed in the driveway for 45 minutes. This was so difficult for me, I wanted terribly to scoop him up and walk a few feet further into the yard where I imagined he’d have more fun. Each time my thoughts were overwhelmed with the idea of moving him along, I stared at him and noticed his smiling face and his giggles. He was thoroughly enjoying kicking the shells with his feet, picking and piling them up, throwing them, letting them run between his fingers when his handful was too large. I sat in the grass nearby and just watched. Eventually he got up and came running for me to give me a hug before he moved on to play with the flowers and fallen leaves in the yard.
We played in the grass for a bit before Odin ran out towards the road (I was next to him the entire time, although he wouldn’t let me hold his hand) and stood on his hands and feet and peered at me though his legs. He giggled and ran towards Yaya’s house (Yaya lives two houses down), knowing the way all by himself.
It’s amazing to me to watch him grow and develop. It’s amazing that he can find so much happiness in the simplest things. Where I had imagined a long winded adventure, there took place a shorter distanced but more thorough one. He understands a large majority of what I say and has taken to saying so many new words over the past few months. I’m glad I had decided to explore at his pace this morning. I would’ve rushed him along if I hadn’t and it was utterly amazing to watch him explore on his own terms. This morning’s walk was a very strong reminder to take in everything, overlook nothing, and to bring out my inner child again. We grow so busy with everyday errands and work and we forget to play shenanigans. We forget to respect the simple things and take pride in the world around us.
As much as I try to teach our boy, I feel as though I’m learning even more from him.