This afternoon as Gabriel and I were bumping along on our walk towards the park and the library, we made a surprising new friend. It wasn’t another one of the elderly ladies from our condo building who love to fuss and coo over the baby–instead it was a fat, black caterpillar, scooting perilously along the concrete sidewalk from one patch of grass to the next! Our friend was about two inches long, the thickness of my finger, and was sporting fluorescent green stripes in triangular patterns. To top off his flashy costume he had a firey orange spike at his tail end and munching mouthparts to match. I tried to scoop the caterpillar up on a leaf to show it to Gabriel–sure, he’s only 2 months old, but it’s never too early to start appreciating the wonder of God’s creation, right?
Our walks to the park are refreshing moments of peace in the middle of each day. Gabriel seems to want to go outside–the moment we step into the fresh air he becomes instantly happy, whether we’re walking in the stroller or in the sling. So happy, in fact, that he falls asleep almost every time we’re outside! A happy, calm baby of course makes for a happy, calm Mommy. On a rainy day a few weeks ago I tried to walk in the mall thinking that perhaps the movement of the stroller and the new environment would soothe him. I was quite wrong. Gabriel’s a smart little guy. All that rampant commercialism and filtered air kept him wide awake, looking around suspiciously, as though I were trying to fool him into thinking we were Outside. I think I’m glad he doesn’t like the mall–it will keep me away from it and the eyes-glazed-over “I didn’t know I needed all this stuff” feeling that I get from being there too long. Avoid the mall, he says, in his own baby way, and so I do for the most part. It’s just another way Gabriel seems to be instinctively teaching me a healthy rhythm for the life of babies and grown-ups alike–eat, nap, venture out, look, laugh, study, play, and repeat as needed.