The other day we took advantage of the unseasonable weather to get an hour or so outside, visiting a small nature preserve a few minutes from home. With the cold weather and many holiday festivities, Mae hadn’t been outside much, so we made sure to go at her pace, which meant a veeeerry leisurely walk with lots of stops to closely examine new findings, and frequent crossings and re-crossings of the little footbridges.
Mae’s always a huge fan of walks through the woods, and this was no exception. But I noticed something new from her this time. She’s always paid a lot of attention to things in the woods, mostly moss and the many leaves she find and picks up to show us; that is, things that are at eye- or ground-level. I hadn’t thought about what it would be like to see the woods from eyes that are only a foot and a half above the ground. It made sense that she’d focus on the things that were closest to her.
But for the first time, I noticed her consistently looking up. She would follow the trunks of the trees upward and notice the canopy and sky, pointing out “big trees.” I realized this is actually somewhat hard to do. With that big toddler head, it probably throws off her center of gravity to tilt it straight back. A lot of times I’d see her with one hand propped on a trunk and her head craned upwards.
I didn’t get any pictures of her doing this, but they probably would have looked like a stock photo or one of those clearly staged Instagrams of a snappily dressed kid in nature (Yeah, I realize some of ours might seem like that, but only because Mae is naturally a very snappy dresser. You should see the sweet sweater poncho she got for Christmas).
At the risk of getting really cheesy, a little kid’s world is opening up and getting bigger every day. In this case, a whole new third dimension got added on to her woods walks. And what’s more, it was also a nice reminder for myself to spend more time on our walks looking up.