To see life through the eyes of a 1.5-year-old must be a wondrous thing. A simple stroll is akin to an amusement park when all the world is new
Yesterday afternoon my youngest and I went for a neighborhood walk. Down the sidewalk we strolled, his chubby toddler hand in mine. “Wow!” He exclaimed, pointing at a service van parked in a neighbor’s driveway. We stopped and admired the van, then returned to our ambling.
“Up!” He pointed with a pudgy finger. A hawk flew above us in the autumn sun. Then, my toddler took a few steps and found a stick. He drew in a deep, dramatic breath and held his prized find.
Every few feet he’d plop down on the pavement without warning and poke at the grass with his stick. I’d pause for a bit then gently return him to his feet, and on we walked.
A delivery truck pulled into the neighborhood. “Choo-choo!” He gasped, since trains and trucks are interchangeable in his 1.5-year-old mind. Then we turned the corner: the mail truck! He froze, jaw open, staring in awe. The mail truck drove on and so we resumed our journey.
A buzzing whir pulsed through the air. A neighbor was using an air compressor in his garage. How fascinating! We paused briefly so he could catch a glimpse.
On we strolled. A broad rottweiler with a vigilant owner ambled towards us. The dog’s owner commanded his well-fed pet to sit as we walked by. “Dog!” my companion called. “Dog! Dog!” He wrenched his head around and plopped himself square in the center of the sidewalk, wanting to do nothing else but play with the sizeable canine who was at least a head taller than him. The dog had plodded his way down the sidewalk, entirely disinterested in my toddler. He was on his own expedition; we needed to return to our own.
I scooped up my partner and pointed at the colorful leaves. “Yellow,” I said, “yellow leaves.” A gust of wind rattled the branch, sending shivers through the dry golden leaves. He was delighted.
I set him down on the sidewalk, held his hand, and on we went. He stopped. “Uhh! Uhh!” He grunted and pointed. Yellow spinning pinwheels in the neighbor’s garden. He pulled away from me and marched head first up the driveway. I collected him and tried to walk him back to the sidewalk. Not happening. He shook away from my hand and charged through the grass. “Nope! Not your yard.” I said. He fussed and twisted in my arms. Mean mommy. Time to head home.
The woosh of an airplane refocused his attention. “Up! Up there!” He pointed at the plane. He looked on happily from his perch in my arms. I carried him for a bit, he cuddled in close, and I doused him with kisses. Knowing, in time, such affection would be entirely dismissed.
I saw some fallen leaves beside the sidewalk and set him down. He stomped and crunched, savoring the texture and sound. On we went. Another airplane flew over head, then another. He was equally enthralled by both.
By the time we arrived home, I had soaked in every bit of my growing boy that I could. And he had glimpsed a neighborhood full of fascinating finds. To see the world through his eyes must be marvellous. I am fortunate to see him see it all.