Recently my husband took our daughter out for some father-daughter time. My son has become a little couch potato, and asked to watch Curious George in their absence. Thinking about cooking dinner, I was tempted to agree. However, I decided instead we should go for a walk. Unsure where to go, we headed to the park near our house. I was apprehensive, as the park’s playground was a bit of a distance and it was close to dinner time. By the time we’d get there, we’d have to turn back. But for some reason, a nice long walk with my toddler seemed more important than a timely dinner.
As we wandered along, my son stopped to look at many things: sticks, leaves, rocks, the river that flowed nearby. At first, each time we paused, I worried about making it to the playground with enough time to play. But little by little, I let go of our destination. So what if we didn’t make it to the jungle gym? Weren’t sticks and puddles just as interesting? Wasn’t throwing grass in the stream just as meaningful an experience to my little guy?
Deciding to enjoy the journey — whether or not we reached the playground — lifted a weight off my shoulders. It was okay to experience the moment at hand, without worrying about some expectation that mattered little to my son. And so we ambled along, not thinking about dinner or the slide. And it was one of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had in a while. I was amazed at what my son enjoys when he’s not being scheduled or rushed along. There’s a whole world at his fingertips, when we slow down to see it.
This week, try going for a walk with no destination in mind. Focus on your surroundings, from the feel of the pavement under your feet to the flowering trees surrounding you. If you’re with your kids, observe the things they stop to explore, and what interests them most. It’s surprising what you can see when you have nowhere to go.
Like this blog? Click below to vote once a day for Mommy A to Z on Top Mommy Blogs!