His golden hair glistens in the sun as we walk along the wooded trail, just me and The Two-Year-Old Boy.
To the water! Throwing rocks. Again and again, with unrestrained joy at each splash, he watches and cheers as the ripples fade.
To the trail! Hand in hand we walk, pausing to examine fallen leaves of crunchy brown, translucent yellow, crimson and green. Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! His game plays out upon the brightly colored carpet adorning our path.
He touches white flowers with bright yellow centers, and watches a bee gather nectar. He examines a rock and collects acorn caps to toss one-by-one, high into the air. Suddenly he turns, and off we go.
To the trees! “Deer, where are you? Foxes, where are you?" he calls into the shadows. He pauses to listen. A soft scraping sound catches his ear, and his eyes follow upward into the crook of an old tree. There sits a squirrel gnawing away at his supper. We watch for several seconds, just me and The Two-Year-Old Boy.
To the hill and beyond! Around the bend and into the sun, the adventure moves up and on. He sees a crack across our path, plants both feet and calls out the count: Ready? Set? He JUMPS with a full-body leap that spends every ounce of his effort. I praise his success. He reaches for my hand and invites me into his play; into his world. Laughing and jabbering, he pulls me along to the next crack… and the next… and together we jump, oblivious to the forced smiles of walkers we encounter along the way.
Breathless now, we walk in silence. “I love you, too!” he says first. I repeat the phrase, and like a game of Echoes, the sentiment rebounds until finally disrupted by our giggles.
To the fishing dock! For an hour we walk, exploring God’s world. We delight in the dance of water and light, in fish that splash and geese that glide gracefully along the water’s edge. Little legs grow tire, and I pause to pick up The Two-Year-Old Boy. He leans his head against mine and yawns, then looks over my shoulder and calls out, “Bye-bye!” to the boats, ducks, and trees.
To the end! Down the last hill and around the bend, he spies the old truck up ahead. I lower him to the ground, and little feet run swiftly across the last stretch of grass. He laughs as we race together to the place where we began our walk in the park… just me and The Two-Year-Old Boy.
What adventures have you enjoyed in God’s beautiful creation this past week?