I arrived to pick up my kids from daycare just as the entire group of 12 toddlers paraded, hand-in-hand, in from the playground. They clasped their gloved-hands as best they could to be safe as they crossed the parking lot. Since they were all ready, I loaded the kids into the van and I think I heard a sigh of relief from their teacher, who was about to help each little one shed their winter layers without losing a single hat, mitten or scarf. (Winter months with little ones has reminded me how thankful I am to teach middle school!)
When we arrived home, I figured that it was a perfect day to enjoy a little more playtime outside. We walked to the park and enjoyed the swings, the slide and the monkey bars, though they proved a bit more challenging for Calder (and more nerve-racking for me) with his added bulk and decreased dexterity.
As we headed home for lunch, they were both growing tired. Carrying Seneca atop my shoulders, I attempted to corral Calder toward the shoulder of the road since he insisted on walking by himself (a fact for which I was very grateful!)
I certainly wanted to honor his independence, but I also wanted to be home. With the house in sight, I grabbed his hand, hoping to help him keep a slightly faster pace.
“Mom, I can’t see! My hat keeps covering my eyes!” Calder whined, frustrated.
“Just follow me. I can see where we’re going,” I replied. And he did. With each step, I replayed that exchange in my mind, thinking about how many times I am the one being asked to hold on and trust. To follow. And how stubbornly I resist.