Last week, a work colleague who also doubles as a daycare dad called the other day with a work question. While I was checking my files, he said,
“Hey, I have a non-work related question while you’re checking on that.”
“Sure, go ahead.”
“When you’re picking up your daughter up at daycare, why do you walk up the steps and then back down the steps? Are you working on stairs at home?”
“Ha! No. It’s just something we have to do every day. I don’t know why, but we’ve done it almost every day since she could walk and it’s one of those things that I just don’t want to fight about.”
“Oh, ok…well, then just keep going up and down the steps!”
Then I tried my best to articulate the un-followable logic of toddlers, which comes with a few certainties: Perpetual lateness, everything is sticky and a fluency in the expression, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He hasn’t yet experienced any of this since his son is much younger than my 2.5 year old daughter. All good things in time. God speed.
In my mind, it takes a few minutes to do, it makes my daughter happy and we also count…so we make the most out of that tiny sliver of time that we spend going up and down the stairs. And maybe one day, that memory will be what she carries from her tiny toddler days at daycare.
But his simple words stuck with me.
“Just keep going up and down the steps.”
I’ve struggled lately with the idea of moving. Moving forward. Moving on. Moving houses. Moving out of my own head. Sometimes I forget that even if I feel stuck in my decisions, I’m STILL going up and down the steps. And maybe what would offer more clarity and peace would be to take PAUSE on those steps from time to time.
A few weeks ago, we were running late (see earlier statement about un-followable toddler logic). it was a cold, windy day and we were walking into school quickly. My daughter stopped in the middle of the parking lot. She closed her eyes and just let the wind blow on her smiling face. In the abrupt stop, I could feel the “Let's GOOOOO” words bubbling in my chest, but I chose differently that day. I watched her marvel. I watched her smile. I watched her squeal with surprise and awe. She just appreciated something so simple as the cold wind on her face after a very long, draining, sickness-riddled winter. I took a moment to be in that moment with her. We stopped and let the wind kiss our winter tired faces…then we went up and down the steps.
So, maybe the thing to remember is that whether you’re going up or down, you’re STILL moving.
And every once in a while, it’s ok to be captivated by the wind.
Stay hungry, my friends.