My grandson and I are walking to the park. It is not so much a ‘walk’ as a meandering saunter. We stop, frequently, to examine cracks in the sidewalk, blades of grass, and to watch the bumble bees busily working in the clover that grows in big swathes along the sidewalk.
He is fascinated in everything.
And I am his willing student.
Every morning while visiting my daughter and son-in-love, my grandson and I would wander to the park and I would be treated to his special view of life.
What a gift.
Here are some of the things he taught me:
- There’s no need to focus on your destination. It’s not going anywhere.
Take time to savour every step along the way. You’ll get to where you’re going, eventually. Sometimes iyou’ll end up where you thought, sometimes you won’t. It’s all okay. Doesn’t matter. Where ever you end up, you’ll have discovered new vistas, new things along the way.
- Take time to savour everything on your path and be curious about it all.
There is no need to rush when you go on a walk. Take time to examine leaves, watch bumble bees, giggle at worms crawling through the grass, kittens running in a garden. Take your time. Life is calling your name. Enjoy it! Be curious about everything! Feel the air. The grass. The leaves. The flowers. Just don’t touch the bumble bees. They’re busy.
- A walk is a chance for adventure and there’s no better time than now for an adventure.
In adult time, the park with its children’s playground, is about a 3 minute walk from my daughter’s house. In toddler time, it’s an entire adventure filled with cars that drive by, cars that are parked, airplanes over head, dogs in widows who bark, cats sitting on porches who want to have staring matches… Get excited by the adventure of it all.
- Look Up!
Look up, waaaay up. Be in awe of everything in the sky. The colour. The clouds. Birds. Planes. Insects. Always walk in awe.
- Smile at everyone. (Even if they don’t smile back.)
A smile is a great way to brighten someone’s day. Smile. Even if they don’t smile back, you’ll feel lighter for having lifted the corners of your mouth. And if you want, give a wave too! People like to wave back sometimes!
- It’s okay to hold hands. Or not. Do what feels right for you.
Sometimes holding hands (or a finger) is all you need to find your balance. Sometimes, having your hands and arms free is what you want. It’s okay. Walk how it pleases you. Oh. And Sometimes, you just need to be carried. It’s all in the adventure.
- Sometimes we fall. And then we get back up.
A fall is just an opportunity to learn to navigate different terrain. It’s not the end of the walk, just a little side trip to explore the grass beneath where you landed, or the crack in the sidewalk that tripped you up.
- Sometimes we cry. And then we stop.
Sometimes when we fall, it’s worth a cry. Sometimes it’s not. It’s all in how you feel in the moment of the fall. And that’s okay. You can cry if you want to. The cry is just for in the moment, not for the whole walk! And, after a cry, a cuddle always makes it feel better and then, you’re all set to dust yourself off and keep on walkin’.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh. Often.
Life is a big adventure filled with many weird and wonderful things. Laugh at the smallest pleasures. Laugh at yourself. A lot. It makes the journey much more interesting and fun.
- Take naps.
When you’re feeling tired, take a nap. You’ll feel much better when you wake up and then you’ll have all the energy you need to keep on exploring.
In the eys of a toddler, the world is a big, big place. What my 17 month old grandson teaches me every day is to never, ever let go of being fascainted by its incredible mysteries, beauty and humour.