Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unexpected Travels

On Friday afternoon, Kate came home from school teetering at the edge of sleepiness. School can make her tired. A ride in the car can help expedite the napping process, so we headed out. We ended up circling the town green of the next town over, Guilford. If ever there was a textbook New England Town Green, here ye shall find it. Churches with steeples, general store, hardware store and big shading oak trees.

Twenty minutes in the car and her sleepiness morphed into wide-eyed wakefulness, so we got out of the car at the Green. Sky blue, strong breeze. And Kate wanted to walk. She’s been very tentative lately walking on her own -- she likes to be near enough to something to hold onto if she falls. But stand outside with her, put out your hand out and she often wants to go. And we did. All the way across the Guilford Green.

It took a very long time and we took a lot of breaks. Between breath-holds and Kate just wanting to look around, we stopped. A lot. About a quarter of the way across, I said, “Kate, I think we should go all the way to the other side.” Her face can be very expressive, but she didn’t react much. She didn’t protest either, which she knows how to do. On we went. People scattered about the green resting in the tree shade took notice. On the occasions we are stared at in public, it’s usually for all the wrong reasons. But not today. A five-year-old little girl to whom walking is clearly an effort, taking 6-8 steps at a time, resting a couple of minutes between surges, cracking tiny smiles in between. She made it all the way across the long end of the Green, legs buckling a little by the end.