I zip my coat up to my chin, and start pushing. The three year old in the stroller is bundled up well, protected against the brisk March breeze. She is happy to be outside, her snack cup full of Cheerios, little crackers and a special treat — mini marshmallows.
We walk past a soccer field, dozens of robins dotting the dormant grass. During the morning hours it had rained, bringing juicy worms to the surface of the dirt. Emmy and I talk about the robins, eating their lunch.
Further on our way, we hear sirens in the distance, and we talk about police cars.
Emmy asks me about the robbers. What were the robbers doing again? she asks. Confused for a minute, I realize she is talking about the robins in the field we passed. I laugh, thinking about worm-eating robbers.
We talk more about the robins, with chatter about police cars thrown in for good measure. Emmy drops a few Cheerios on the ground, wanting to feed the birds. The marshmallows have long since disappeared into her belly.
We walk in a large loop, past the railroad tracks where a Metra train goes by, past the house where one of Emmy’s friends live, turning the corner and back to our house we go. Emmy lasts for about two miles. I’m determined to walk four today, and I drop her back at our house where my sister is watching Lily. I continue on my own.
I start retracing my steps. I plug earbuds in, looking forward to some kid-free minutes. My eclectic playlist begins where I left off last time. Beck, Eric Clapton, Dixie Chicks. A little bit Country, a little bit Rock ‘n Roll.
I smile as I pass a Cheerio on the ground. A few steps later on, I see stroller tracks in the mud. As much as I enjoy walking with my daughter, I also cherish this time to myself. I can listen to music; I can think; I can be quiet.
I walk briskly, trying to improve my time. When I arrive back at the house, four miles under my belt, I’m expecting to see that I walked the second loop much more quickly. I wasn’t slowed down by giving Emmy a drink or letting her out of the stroller so she could walk a few blocks with me. To my surprise, I have only improved my time by three minutes.
Two loops; both giving me time I want, time I need. Time with one child, to talk with her and spend some precious time outside after a long winter. Time alone, to think and walk and renew my spirit.
For more simple moments that show the bigger picture, visit Hyacynth at Undercover Mother.
16 Replies to “Two Loops”
You just descibed the battle in my heart that ensues daily — a little time for both my spirit and my kiddos. If only each of us mommies could walk daily two loops like the loops you walked … I think there would be many more resfreshed mothers. Wonderful to have read this bigger picture moment this morning, Ginny!
Both times seem to energize us, huh? Time with our kids teaches us so much and warms our hearts, and time alone refreshes us for time with our family. Loved this post. So sweet with the cheerios and conversation.
I really enjoyed reading this post. I loved your appreciation for the dropped cheerios and stroller tracks. Also, thanks for visiting my3littlebirds. It's a new blog and I'm grateful to people who take the time to read it.
I so loved this. I think it's wonderful that you were able to enjoy each loop for the special moments they contained.
Crazy that the time seems to escape us, yet it's always there. We just have to stop worrying about it and enjoy the moments.
I love that. So true. We need the quiet and the sweet company. Nice that you could experience both on your walk. 🙂
I really love how you've included a post about your daughter in your month celebrating women. I know she's not a woman yet, but she's the bud of a woman and is inspirational in her own right.
Ha, it's funny but I think I'd have better time with the Babby in the stroller, since that's my body's cue to chug along. Whereas walking by myself, I'm all Doobeedoobeedoolalala.
Good luck with the training! I remember whenever my sister was staying here, there would not be an end to it. In the end I would get cranky and quiet and my sister would take the hint, tell me she would be leaving at a certain time and I would be happier again. Some time alone is indeed very important.
What a beautiful post! Congratulations on finding the balance :)And thanks for stopping by my blog!
Wonderful insights about the balance needed to be a mom successfully. Time with your kids, time with yourself–both needed for very different reasons. With my first baby, I had a hard time remembering it was *okay* to need time for myself….the second time around, I've got it down (usually) and I'm a much better mom for it. 🙂
Hi! Coming over from SITS today. You were ahead of me in the sharefest! What a story you have! Cute blog and I love the name! Blessings!
What a great post! I love the comparison of the two loops and how they are both integral parts of your life and day.
So sweet and so very true! :)Visiting from SITS 🙂
That free time can be so important, can't it? As can the time with our children…..very sweet post.
Ginny, sorry for the late comment. I'm just getting caught up. I love this post. I'm so happy you found moments to enjoy during both loops. I have to remember to find the joy in more things. Also, good for you! Four miles!