Not just a stroller

By Published On: April 13th, 2015

We live right next to a huge cow pasture that […]

We live right next to a huge cow pasture that has a little paved strip in the middle. It’s our go-to when the kids want to ride bikes, we need to run the dogs or if anyone wants to stretch their legs. And just the other day, we realized our littlest lady was big enough to cruise on over in our BOB stroller without her infant seat. IMG_2131
That’s right—she was riding proper, facing forward like a big girl and everything. We adjusted the five-point harness to make it as teensy as it goes, and plopped her in the seat. She grinned up at us, looking around and touching everything—the big sunshade that drops down just far enough to shade her when the sun is low and heavy in the west, the mesh pockets on either side and the buckle across her midsection. The infant seat attachment was still in place, and like every one of our kids before her, she was using it as a footrest well before we headed for home.
I opened the little peekaboo window in the top of the sunshade, so I could keep an eye on her. And off we went, with the bigger kids on bikes and two deliriously happy dogs. She kicked her little feet, waved her arms, and when I called her name, I watched her little head turn back and forth before she craned it upward. She laughed and reached that chubby little starfish hand up at me before whipping forward again to watch her brothers and sister speeding off ahead, bouncing up and down with excitement.
She played with her toes and squealed as I pushed her up and down that paved strip, waving at her siblings when they raced past, calling her name. She reached for those big, soft ears when our overgrown puppy stuck his head in her lap for a good sniff. It was all very exciting, and her joy at this new perspective was impossible to miss, evident all the way down to the excited flexing and pointing in her toes and her frantically circling wrists.
She was ready for a real stroller ride ages ago, size-wise, but I always defaulted to the ease of the baby carrier. Add cold weather, and the time just wasn’t right. Until now. It’s such a small thing, really, riding in a stroller. But not to her—and not to me. It’s a symbol of how fast she’s growing, how big she’s getting. She’s been observing the world from the safety of her little carrier right against me for months now, but that doesn’t last. Even strollers don’t last. Soon, she’ll be moving under her own steam, exploring the world instead of just observing it.
It’s just a ride in a stroller, but really, it’s so much more than that.