We live in an old neighborhood very close to downtown. The houses are close together, the trees are at war with the sidewalks, and the roads are always busy. It’s a good place for walking, but my daughter, much to my dismay, doesn’t want to walk. She wants to ride her trike, a rusty Red Flyer she got two christmases ago, everywhere. In theory this sounds like a great arrangement, but it isn’t for me, because I am impatient. Firstly, we go slower on a trike. She has to stop every couple of feet to pick up leaves, flowers, and any random thing she sees in her path, to put in her basket. One time she picked up a rock that turned out to be poop. I am not proud of this, but I always have to remind myself to slow down, we are not in a hurry, that it is good she is so curious about and in love with the world around her. When I don’t remind myself of those wonderful things, I’m usually annoyed at the glacial pace of the whole endeavor.
She also likes to stop in the middle of the road just long enough for the signal to go from the friendly white outline of a person walking into the red hand telling you “you’re in danger girl.” This always sends me into panic mode because A. Jacksonville is ranked the third worst city in the country for pedestrians due to pedestrian deaths and B. that little girl is all I’ve got. Another reason I dislike how fond she is of riding her trike everywhere, is that even though she always rides the trike to our destination, she never wants to ride it back! We make all kinds of deals, we even pinky swear, and no matter how much she promises she will, she never rides it back. So I have to carry this trike back home, usually in 90 degree weather while also encouraging her to walk a little faster because “mommy is boiling and this trike is heavy.” The real lesson here is that I need to relax and not hurry my daughter. My goal is her happiness, and she is happiest when she is exploring at her own pace.