Tonawanda News —
Of course they do.
My older son (otherwise known as the JimmyMonster) is content to simply saunter along next to me. Sometimes we collect leaves and sticks and the occasional pinecone. Occasionally we share a look of commiseration about his brother’s antics. His interest is piqued whenever we encounter water of any sort, from puddles to sprinklers to someone’s trickling hose. I can lose him for minutes to silent, rapt consideration of one home’s front-yard fountain.
“It’s like the big waterfall,” Sam told me solemnly as we watched him during one rest break for this purpose. If the cracks in the sidewalk can be potentially dangerous gorges, I guess a small fountain can be Niagara Falls.
Every flower is exotic. (Especially dandelions gone to seed.) Every random leaf is beautiful. Every house has something that needs to be pointed out and admired. (I can’t wait until Halloween decorating season really ramps up this year.) Every neighbor must be greeted, every vehicle identified (Sam likes Chevys), every airplane tracked across the sky, every doggie patted (with permission, of course).
It may take us far longer to get around the block than it should, but, boy, do we have a fun time doing it.
With all the frustrations, costs and trials of being a parent, it can be difficult, sometimes, to see the payback. Hugs and kisses and “I love you, Mommy!” moments are always good, but little boys don’t always tend to slow down for them much. The knowledge that you’re doing your best to raise responsible, compassionate adults is all fine and well, but you don’t see the results of that for decades.
Walking our neighborhood with my kids, however, has shown me another advantage.
They make you look with new eyes.