It's the Journey, Not the Destination...

Now that spring is beginning to make its entrance, we have been taking walks as often as possible. I can't believe how much Little Guy has matured over the winter! Last year, out main goal when taking walks was teaching him how to hold hands - a tough job with a little one who loves his freedom. Our "walks" consisted of me constantly chasing a toddler who thought it might be fun to dart into the street at any given moment.

It is all different this year. All that teaching him how to hold hands has paid off - I merely have to ask him to hold my hand and his little paw is up in the air waiting for me to grab hold. He is also listening a lot better. If I say "Stop," he actually stops! He is understanding me more, so I can give him explanations as to why he can't pick up shiny broken glass or go into the back yard with the barking dog. He will really listen to me and comply!

We always have to look at "the trucks in the fence."

"Nature will bear the closest inspection. 

She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, 

and take an insect view of its plain."

~Henry David Thoreau
And (the best part) he's a little explorer! He loves touching, picking up, and looking at things. No more simply running around just because. He has a purpose now. He picks up sticks, leaves, rocks... anything that looks interesting. We always bring a bag with us to keep his "collections" in. He stops to look at the rocks embedded in the concrete sidewalks and pays special attention to the footprints left in wet cement by people, squirrels, dogs, and birds. We have to stop often so he can feel the bark of a tree trunk, the leaves of the emerging plants, and the needles on pine trees. He even stops to smell the pinecones he finds on the ground. We hear all kinds of sounds and imitate them - sirens from fire engines, dogs and squirrels barking, children playing, birds chirping... everything.

"I think, at a child's birth, 

if a mother could ask a fairy godmother 

to endow it with the most useful gift, 

that gift should be curiosity."

~Eleanor Roosevelt
My husband took a walk with us yesterday and he kind of got on our nerves. He kept asking me where we were going. Um... we don't go anywhere in particular for our walks. When we get to a corner, I ask Little Guy which way he wants to go. Unless we need to go somewhere, it really doesn't matter which way we go. Every time we stopped to check out some new and amazing discovery, my hubby was antsy to get moving. "Come on, let's keep going," was his mantra - for an hour and a half. Ugh! It took me quite a while to convince him that we didn't need to go, go, go. The point of taking this walk was to enjoy the weather and watch Little Guy and Big Brother explore and have fun. I kept reminding him that we had all the time in the world and we didn't have to be anywhere at any particular time.

Making big noises jumping on the metal plate in the sidewalk.
It took me a long time to learn this when my oldest was little. I used to rush him here and there. One day, he asked me why we had to hurry up. I had no answer. I had to remember why we were going for our walks in the first place, and them keep reminding myself every time I had the urge to hurry things along. How does that saying go? It's the journey that's most important, not the destination!

Making a mustache from the seed pod of a "Bean Tree."

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."


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