The GGA Project -- Day #53 "The Longest 880 Yards"

This afternoon when I got home from work, I really really wanted to just take a long snooze and snuggle with my little monkey.  He's hard to snuggle for more than three seconds at a time these days, though, unless he is also super tired...which he wasn't.

Instead I put on Finding Nemo and we chilled a little in our room, me lying down for a spell to just relax and him quickly losing interest in the movie (which I was actually happy about) and scootin' on and around the bed for a while, picking up stuff and coming and going and chatting away.  It was kind of nice.

But then I was struck all of a sudden with this thought:  What am I doing?!?!  It's the middle of winter, a warm and BEAUTIFUL 65 degrees and sunny outside, and I'm loafing around in my room.  And I'm also subjecting this little boy to my lair while there is so much sunshine happening outside?!  Hell's bells.  I got up immediately...just a single thought of the upcoming Northern California gloom months of February and March was enough to get me real motivated, real fast.

That's one great thing about being a parent, though.  I might have been content to while away the whole afternoon like that, but being somebody's Mama, I feel a drive to do more, kick my own ass a little more, show him cool stuff.

Today's New Activity: Stroller-free Stroll

My son has been walking for about 4 months now.  That first month was of course wobbly, the second less so, and by now he's running up and down the hallways after and from us, with only an the occasional spaz out.  Still, I have until now been leery about taking him anywhere without the stroller.  It's a kind of security blanket; I never want to get stranded somewhere and have to make him walk if he's over it or have to carry him while also trying to shop or stand in a line, etc.  I leave the stroller behind during only the very briefest of errands.

Today, however, we took our first walk around the neighborhood, just an actual walk, on legs, both of us.

First, he was confused.  Surely I must have been meaning to get us into the car.  He seemed to believe this for a good 4 minutes or so, tugging on the handle and looking at me like, 'What is the matter with you?  What are you waiting for?!"

But finally, we got to strollin'

And stopping to smell the hedges

It's absolutely true, what people are always saying about the experience of watching children grow and learn: everything really does become new to you, the parent, all over again.  As we were walking, I started narrating: "that's a white house, here's a tree, look at the car..."  After a few rounds of this, I was just tripping out in my mind, thinking 'holy moly, he knows NONE of this!  I can say ANYthing and it'll be newish and interesting to him.  Rock.  Amazing.  Flower.  Wower!"  Of course he's seen these things before, but they are still incredibly fascinating to him.  Just reaching up to feel the leaves of a tree while I held him was clearly a mind-blowing sensory experience for him.

Two days ago there was a little spider in the house.  At first I was just going to ignore it (I can feel Nicole reading this and going Nooooooo!  Kill it.  KILL it!!!!), but then it occurred to me that I don't remember the baby ever having seen a spider...not since he was able to observe and react to things anyway.  So I brought him down to the floor and watched as he marveled and ogled this tiny spider, laughing with its every move and, of course, reaching right out to grab for it.  I just love that.  I love that sense of wonder and lack of fear, and I'm going to enjoy it along with him while it lasts....hopefully for a long, long time.

After about half a mile, with many stops and starts, the monkey was done.  He was happy to just plop down on the sidewalk and try to stick my car keys into the cracks.  I'm pretty sure he could have done this for hours.  But it was time to get home.

It was really wonderful to slow down, not be on a mission to get anywhere, not be just tunnel-visioned on the road or sidewalk ahead (as I would have been if we'd had the stroller and I was walking for exercise), not ignore the obvious wonder-inspiring life all around us.

Monkey took the easy way home  :)


  1. absolutely beautiful post! how did i miss this one? i loved walking with maya at that age. i still do! sureya is a little bit of a crazy girl when it comes to our walks (mostly it's me chasing after her and trying to peel her off of other people's front steps (she knocks on the doors and tries to open them!) but it is so nice to let the kids lead the way and see the world through their eyes again. (i love the photos in this post, too! you are such a talented photojournalist!) and, btw, i want your camera! what kind is it? i think you wrote about it on the blog...i'll have to go investigate. i should've gone with a canon!

  2. I love love loved walking behind my kids and just watching the wonder---and doing it again with Maya, especially when she was a little older and had a "shopping list," to find things and place them into the scavenging basket! I wonder why the world becomes so ho hum to us? All we need to do is follow a child to see it brand new again with our baby eyes...