We walk hand in hand down the street, following the very old dog at the end of the leash. He is slow but so are we. There is no reason to hurry. The journey is as enjoyable as the journey’s end. Our destination: the small hill at the end of our cul de sac. Our mission: to watch the cars and trucks on the street below.
We climb the hill. I sit in the grass and the very young boy settles into my lap. His sandy colored hair wisps in the wind. Up close he smells like a combination of soft baby skin and the cereal he clutches in his travel cup. This very little boy, who is barely two years old, scans the landscape. With each vehicle that rounds the bend he draws in a breath and points. Each car, each truck is given its due awe and wonder. We sit contentedly, the very old dog, the very young boy and me, the somewhat young/somewhat old GiGi, enjoying the early and unexpected spring weather. I make up a song about the cars and he seems to nod in approval when I sing it in response as a new car drives past.
The dog gets comfortable. He knows we might be awhile. Time passes, (10 min? 20? 30 or more?) I really don’t mind. That little body nestled into mine, the dog dozing at my side, the smell of Spring in the air. This child pulls me into living in the present like no one else has managed to do and for this I am grateful.
Some time passes and I ask him if he is ready to walk back to the house. He shakes his head no and presses his back against my chest as if to hold me in the moment. Cars pass, time passes. We sit, we watch. The warm air turns slightly chilly. Eventually he agrees that it is time to walk back to tell Poppy of our wandering.
We “run” down the small hill as much as a very old dog, a very young child and a somewhat young/somewhat old GiGi can and he laughs as if it is a grand adventure. He places his hand in mine as we make our way back down the street. We talk about cars in the way that we often do, me mentioning all the colors we saw, him nodding in approval. I grasp his hand a little tighter and the very old dog slowly and quietly leads us back home.