Almost every evening since I hit the 37 week mark, our family has been going on a night walk each evening. After weeks of being stuck either sitting or laying on my rump while on modified bed rest, my body had really gotten out of shape. Knowing that I've got the enormous task of weathering hours of labor and pushing a child out in the weeks to come, I thought it would be a good idea to get some exercise--and maybe all that walking would help speed things along, too!
Aiden has really taken to this new ritual--he begs each evening at dinner to go on a night walk. Before Halloween, he would vigilantly watch for "scary fings" that we could go and see--he loved nothing more than to walk up slowly to a patch of fake bones and stare in awe or to stand and admire the many jack-o-lanterns of our neighbors.
Now that Halloween is over, the walks have lost a little of their thrill, but he still enjoys the time with his Mommy and Daddy. And for a 4 year old, there is nothing more exciting than carrying a flashlight and spotting treasures along our way: a tiny cottontail rabbit darting across a lawn, a crimson leaf that has fallen from a tree, even a funny-shaped rock or a bottle cap strewn along our path.
For Brad and I, the time to just walk hand-in-hand, talk about our day, and listen to the wild stories and silly jokes of our little guy is its own sort of treasure. All too often, our evenings are a rush of dinner preparations, household chores and dragging Aiden through his bedtime routine, capped off by staring at the TV for an hour and climbing into bed exhausted. But since we've begun our nightly tradition of walking, we've had a chance to connect again--to actually speak to one another and listen and to enjoy, together, the simple pleasures in life: the smell of fall carried on a cool breeze, the twinkling of stars, and the amazement of seeing your son grow up right before your eyes.
I know our lives are about to be thrown into chaos, with a new baby arriving to disrupt every schedule and routine we've developed since Aiden threw our lives into chaos almost 4 years ago. But in the coming months, I hope to continue our nightly tradition of walking together. More than ever, our family is going to need that time together--time to take in the quiet of the night, to listen to one another, and enjoy the simple pleasures of God's creation.