A walk can be many things. A jaunt around the local mall, pushing your stroller and talking about all the nice things to see in the store windows or a hands free, stroller free, good old fashion walk in the neighbourhood. The latter takes a chunk of free time and a very patient and accepting intention, but is immensely worth it.
If you ever find yourself with a spare hour, I suggest you try this mindful moment activity. Here's what you do: You walk.
Where? Doesn't matter
For how long? Undetermined
To do what? Nothing
By taking a walk with no intentions other than being completely open and non-judgmental to your child, you extend a hand to them saying you teach me, as much as I teach you. You have instincts that are as powerful. I want to learn from you and I am happy to take turns teaching each other every discovery we make on earth.
This is when Zinnia and I have our best talks. She chats with me about the flowers, rocks, friends and family. She talks about what we just did, who we may have encountered and what we will be up to next. We stop often. I have been told many times that I have patience like no other. While this may be the case, I think taking an hour a day to let your child lead an outdoor nature hunt is not too much to ask, especially with all this daylight and warmth.
Recently, we walked home from the library and came across a tree that was growing what Zinnia referred to as "baby pears". We squished them, opened them and smelled them. We carried them home for a while, until the perfect rock came along and Zinnia could no longer afford the baby pear any prime hand space.
If you know Zinnia, you know she is a free spirit who lives to the beat of her own drum. While this has taken a lot of observing, learning and practising of patience and mindfulness as a parent, it has rewarded me the opportunity of watching this little person unveil herself to me, piece by piece as each portion of her is being cultivated alongside her experiences and relationships.
Being a parent is completely different at each stage and it isn't until we recognize that all ages and stages are beautiful that we begin to take full advantage of this chance.
Spend more time learning from your child than teaching and just see what a shift in perspective it is to be a part of their world. Pay attention to the little things and explore honestly and curiously with your little ones. Everyone benefits.
Show love, grow love
Happy Living Parents
*today's post was inspired by the book We're Going on a Nature Hunt by Steve Metzger Illustrated by Miki Sakamoto