Toddler Choices Are A Happy Reminder of How Best to Live Life…

Our walks have slowed. We stroll now. Our mission has shifted. We once were driven by the miles but now it is all about the smiles. A seventeen-month-old set the pace.

Impossibly little pink sneakers sparkled in the early morning light. Twists and turns as my granddaughter Belle navigated the unstable woodchips atop of the softening earth. Toddler sport to musically crunch through dried fallen leaves.  A spongy rubberized surface at a local elementary school playground offered a dizzying imbalance for our relatively new walker. Small mounds of earth a Himalayan challenge for a petite albeit determined Belle. Careful footing. Gentle yet instructive teaching by my patient daughter as she guided, directed, and redirected her beautiful daughter.

There were no perceived boundaries as Belle freely walked and wandered. I envied her limitless world. Time and schedule had no place even on a Monday. An escape into a neighborhood driveway quickly becomes a game on our way to the park. With each drive encountered a change in direction was wanted. My daughter redirected with each unexpected visit while Belle smiled broadly. Giggled too. There was room for fun only…

Solely in the moment Belle moved determinedly while exploring her environment just outside of Boston. Perfecting all things walking was the only task at hand. Small energetic bursts of a quicker pace were mingled in. A new season is in the offing. Running and springtime…

We paused frequently. I noticed the sound of birds singing nearby. Observed children at play. Dogs romping through an open field. I was breathing deeper. Easier. Relaxed and in the moment too. We began to make our way back to their home and while the path through the park was paved, Belle chose another. I hope that is always true….  


“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” Guy Gavriel Kay





Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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