ingrid, our little snowdrop, is growing up before our very eyes. she has been walking for months now, she gives us hugs and kisses, she can drink from a regular glass with essentially no help and use a fork by herself (mostly), and she talks all the time… most of it unintelligible, but some of it sweetly and surprisingly understandable. her new word of the moment is "walk?". with a question mark. she'll say "walk?" and go to the front door, grab our shoes and bring them to us, all the while demanding "walk? walk?" usually it just means she's tired of being inside and wants to go out, whether it be errands or going to the park or getting in the car to drive somewhere. yesterday, though, i decided to take her for a short walk. the sun was briefly out (it is decidedly fall and rainy here in seattle now, late summer is far far behind us), the sidewalk was mostly dry, and there were no better prospects at the moment.
i don't know why i haven't really done this before, but i've never really let her walk for long distances. i've just been in the habit of carrying her everywhere for so long. is that weird? well, yesterday i decided that it was so the two of us went for a walk together. we followed the same route as the one we used to walk last summer when ingrid was only a couple of months old. but this time she walked all by herself. she held my hand most of the way, except for the few occasions when she stumbled and seemed to think i was the one holding her back. then she would let go, get up, and run ahead gleefully until she turned and waited for me to take my hand again. she would stop every so often to look up at the sky and trees and exclaim, "whoa!" or stoop to pick up a couple of rocks and some dirt, or to say "woof" to a passing dog. she walked the whole way, even up the steep bit coming up from the park. we walked over some fallen mountain ash berries, that crunched satisfyingly underfoot like bubble wrap, and she turned back to walk over them again. she walked right back up to the front door of our house, with only a little assistance from me to help her up the steps.
why am i telling you this? because it made me so very, very happy. because i didn't take my camera with me, i have no photos, there was no one else with us there. just the two of us holding hands, walking out in the autumn sun, through the leaves, through our beautiful neighborhood. because i couldn't believe i had this tiny little daughter who was capable of doing so much on her own and i want to remember how it flooded me with happiness.
*photos are from our visit to the pumpkin patch the other week. she actually walked a lot there too, though those pumpkin vines sure had fun grabbing at her feet.