Today Mushroom and I went for a walk round the block. Just from our house to the corner shop – usually a five minute dash to pick up milk, with him in the buggy. Now that he’s almost walking, however, I thought it would be a nice short walk for him to practice letting go of my hands.
So, we set off after snack time on this ‘short’ walk. His little hands in mine, walking at what I consider to be quite a reasonable pace, considering. At the end of our road he stopped ‘De?’ He asked, pointing at the floor. For some reason part of the road he was pointing at had been replaced by bricks. Until today, I hadn’t even noticed it was different. A little further along he stopped again ‘Mumum?’ he asked again, pointing at a stray leaf. ‘That looks like it came off a rose bush.’ I said, looking around for one and not finding any. I tried to move on – but Mushroom wasn’t having it ‘De! De!’ He shouted, pointing above his head, just behind us. There was the rose bush. Fiery yellow and red streaked roses were just opening. They were beautiful, and I had just walked straight past it. I lifted Mushroom up so he could take a closer look. He grinned up at me and chatted away. I’ve no idea what he was saying but he was happy.
For the rest of our walk I paid more attention to his questions (considering he has yet to say more than a couple of – barely recognisable – words, he already asks a LOT of questions) and tried to answer them as best I could…
‘That’s a tree. Do you want to touch it?’ He did.
‘A feather, it comes from a bird.’
‘Wow, what a big bird.’ It was massive, and I only noticed it when Mushroom pointed it out.
The five minute walk took us about 40 minutes in the end and I forgot what I went to the shop for but it didn’t matter. Walking with Mushroom, instead of pushing him around in his buggy, made me really stop and look at the world. He made me pay attention, something I’ve been forgetting to do lately.
I think sometimes, its possible to get so wrapped up in teaching our children things – how to walk and talk, to eat nicely, to say please and thank you – that we forget to appreciate what they can teach us.
What have you learned from your children this week…?