All winter and early-spring on I eagerly await the first day warm enough to take my kids on what we call a "Starbucks Walk." We live right off a glorious bike trail and it's just perfect that there's a Starbucks 25 minutes out, and a fabulous park on the way back. I can't even begin to estimate how many "Starbucks Walks" we've been on since my son was born - hundreds, for sure. This was our go-to almost every single day until he was old enough for preschool. And our salvation on sooooooo many weekend days when Mark was working and we needed something to fill the time.
Because it's impossible to do a "Starbucks" walk during the winter, the first walk of spring has become one way I mark the passing of time. Today, breathing in the sweet smells of a world once again teeming with life, I found myself flooded with memories. I can hardly believe how much time and life have passed since those first few walks with infant Matthew. Just a smattering of the strongest memories marking the time...
- Venturing outside, on my own for the first time with Matthew, feeling excited and brave but also nervous for what might happen when he needed to eat or needed a diaper change;
- The time with toddler Matthew on our way home one evening when he first noticed the real moon after reading about it in storybooks - he practically hyperventilated he was so thrilled;
- A growing sense that these walks would be ever more complete with another little companion tagging along, and happy anticipation for that time;
- Pushing toddler Matthew and our new "B'ay Kwehr" in the double stroller, thrilled that Matthew loved Claire so much he insisted on riding in the bottom with her.
It started out something like this - Claire is still just learning how to scoot, and she sometimes gets sad that her brother is too far ahead.
Happy reunions, complete with hugs, are always had when we catch up:
So glad I grabbed my camera this morning - would not have wanted to miss this series:
Hooray! We stumbled on a huge dandelion patch, Matthew's favorite since before he could even walk. We picked some dandelions together...
And some apart.
And, of course: The final destination!
On our way back, Matthew got a haircut.
And Claire danced.
... and there were a few more happy reunions...
And one very, very happy mommy. Even Claire's first experience with "mean girls" at the gym today couldn't take away my glow for long - especially because the first thing Matthew said to Mark when Mark walked in the door for dinner was "Daddy! Some girls at the gym were being mean to 'Kwehr'! And I was in my swimming class so I couldn't help her!" For. Sigh.
Matthew and Claire, I hope you know that you make our hearts glow every single day. Both your father and I feel so lucky to have you as our children. We delight in each of you and especially in your relationship with each other. We are shocked, blown away, delighted, and just jaw-dropingly happy that you've turned out to be such good buddies for each other (so far, anyway!). I'll close this with a few of lyrics from one of the songs you often request at bedtime:
"A million tomorrows shall all pass away, e'er I forget all the joys that are mine today."