In the rarest of rare occasions, I have a week day off of work, without a single obligation. Today is one of those days. No huge board exam to study for. No delinquent work notes, surveys, evaluations (that cannot wait one more day to be done, anyway). No party to prepare for this weekend. Absolutely nothing that requires my immediate attention. So, I played with, dressed and fed the boys all morning, then took Brock to school. When I pulled in the driveway, I made a last minute decision to take advantage of the beautiful fall day and join the two littlest on a walk, instead of going inside to clean, organize, or tend to the house.
On this walk, I resisted the constant temptation to pull out my phone to record every single, adorable photo op that presented itself in this short jaunt of about 7 houses length. I simply enjoyed watching Curtis collect acorns; holding them ever so delicately between his pointer and thumb, while appearing cross-eyed as he looked at it, raising his hand to show me his prize and mumbling some incoherent string of syllables about his discovery. I chased him. Kicked leaves in his face and tossed leaves over his head. I encouraged him to run, roll, jump, and throw leaves, even suggested he include his younger brother by tossing some into the stroller. At one point, he suddenly dropped to his belly in a huge pile of leaves, placed his hands under his chin while resting his elbows on the ground and smiled up at me, creating the perfect shot, as if to taunt me because he knew I had decided I would under no circumstances take a picture.
I observed him, in his two year old wonder. Excitedly pointing out our neighbors huge orange pick-up, calling out, "tttrrrhuck!". Yelling out "choo choo!", as a distant train honked. A sound I had begun tuning out long ago, and almost forgot existed until I had Brock, and his naive toddler ears began picking up every city noise like airplanes, trucks and trains. Now Curtis, follows in his footsteps, helping me to again appreciate the little things. I watched as he spotted a cat underneath a car in the driveway. He tried to coax me to join him, by grabbing my hand and saying, "um on". I declined, to let him attempt to call the kitty on his own, and he did just that. Soon, the cat was rubbing against and thru his legs, lied down in front of him, and Curtis just squealed, patted and rested his head on the creature, while repeating "kitty" over and over in his happy, slightly raspy voice. My hand nearly reached in my knock off North Face from China jacket pocket for my, iPhone: so cute. Just so gosh darn cute.
I could see George fading, past due on his morning nap. Curtis, my go-with-the-flow middle child, would walk forever, or turn around in 2 houses. So, we turned around, and began our journey home. Curtis ran, in his gallop-type stride, down the hill to our home. He smiled to me as he turned in the driveway, and led me to the front door. We went inside, and our walk was finished, but the memory of this joy, innocence and fun that only the youngest people can provide will live on in my soul.