Every few feet she stops, looks at a bug, picks up a flower, or asks for something I don’t have. I urge her on so we can catch up with the ‘big kids’ – all of of four and six – who are getting way too far ahead for my own comfort. But my littlest one lags behind soon enough again. Every now and then she is inspired with spurts of speed. Sometimes when I say “ready, set, go!” Sometimes when she is inspired by a shout of laughter from up ahead, a particularly challenging hill to conquer (she always chooses ‘up’, if given the choice), or a blind corner hiding her siblings from her view.
She is all her own way.
The only way to get her to go faster is to carry her. But at nearly three, she’s little, but not. Also, it’s nice to be able to use your hands if you stumble when you’re walking trails.
I almost rolled my ankle last time I tried to carry her and go faster to catch up to my independent racers.
I’m a straightforward person. I like to make plans and follow them through, to the end, ideally. And, even though I realize the haphazard nature of life is more a meander from one thing to another and less a straight shot from here to there, sometimes I still attempt my own “ready, set, go” game. Trying to set up the scene for a speedy entrance into whatever’s next. Sometimes I put my head up against a challenge and go for it, because I’m going to win. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes I feel like I get picked up and carried against my will – too fast, too far, too much.
But no matter how much I race against the constraints and pace of my own life. There are always more hills, more blind corners, more meandering, and more flowers to pick up along the way.
So here’s to embracing all the ways, including the meandering way in between all the drama and plot pivots that make up a life.
It’s always easier to see the beauty when you’re not struggling to breathe.
I began this as a Five Minute Friday. So I wrote five minutes and then I kept going a little. Because I heard the thing I wanted to say just lingering around the edges. So I decided to meander through this “five minutes” to get to what was there waiting.
Find me reading books, hiking, mothering, and all the other meandering things on Instagram!