The weather was nice so we took a walk. The day before Thanksgiving. It takes me a while to process things sometimes. Stories bounce around in my head a bit and sometimes I don’t even notice they are there until they are ready to bounce right out.
We decided to walk around the block. But our house sits near the bottom of a hill. So there is generally a considerable climb to overcome before the sweet descent to home.
My girl made it a while before getting tired. Big hills are bigger for small legs. She asked to go home. She asked to be carried. I grasped her hands and pointed to the peak.
“See that house up there? When we get there we will turn around and you’ll be amazed at how far we’ve come.”
And then, of course, it became a game. Every twenty or so steps we turned around.
“Mommy! Look how far we’ve come!”
We’d marvel at the distance travelled. We’d stretch our arms into the air, claiming victory over the previous three feet of hill, using that sweet success to propel us forward another three feet.
There is certainly something to this regular reflection on the road you’ve travelled.
I tend to forget the game. She initiates it now.
Like today. At the park with her and her baby brother. She runs ahead of me on the walking path and then turns to wait for me to catch up. As I approach her, she tells me to turn and look at how far we’ve come.
On a day like today. A day when she happily trotted off to school, hand in hand with a teacher, after giving me a quick hug goodbye… drop off tears just a hazy memory. A day when she played on her own at the park, climbing on the big kid swings and pumping her legs to fly all on her own. A day when I took both of my children to the park, confidently managing stroller and baby bjorn and excited preschooler…
These things seemed so impossible just a few months ago. I could barely make out the outline of such a day, the hill in front of us rose so high.
And yet, here we are. Look how far we’ve come. Look how far we’ll go.