Every morning after milk and books, we head outside for a walk in our jammies. Sometimes the milk and books go outside with us and we get our snuggling under the tree. But either way, E really looks forward to taking a "ack" outside. He stands at the door looking out and begs "at! at!" (which means "out"!).
I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to let the grass slide under our toes still cool with dew in the morning. We don't mind the rough sidewalk, either. I like for our feet to connect with the ground.
We have a great little neighborhood garden where E likes to play with rocks. Today he learned how to say "ock" as we sorted the gray and black ones. There are lots of rich textures and smells to explore there.
During our walks, we stop at a series of huge bushes and look inside for birds and spider webs. We observe clouds in the sky. We pick up cicada molts, helicopter seeds, and acorns. We stomp on the grates in the sidewalk because they feel bumpy on our bare feet. We listen for lawn mowers, airplanes, and "ruck"s (trucks). We admire his favorite parked cars. "UH-OH!" he exclaims every time we walk past the car missing a hub cap. We feel the wind and E stops to touch and kiss Mrs. Betsy's tree. We trace our fingers over the numbers on yard address signs. We stop short to watch (or chase!) rabbits. We examine mushrooms and look closely at bumble bees.
We make a game out of just walking - great big steps and baby steps. Then we RUN!
We also have a routine evening walk where we say hello to all the neighborhood dogs and bump into other kids. The light is different and the air feels different, too. It's a wonderful way to wind down together.
Today during our evening walk, some of the neighbors had sprinklers on. The sprinklers were spraying water in our path which turned out to be a fun game. I tried to consciously absorb how precious E really is during this beautiful, fleeting time with him. It all seemed so perfect - the sun was beaming on our faces and making the arcs of water sparkle as they gently moved up and down the sidewalk. E and I tried to race back and forth dodging and squealing as the water trickled down on us. He wanted to do it again and again, so I let him savor the moment too.