"That way!" he decided.
We walked down the street towards the back of campus. All of a sudden he did something new..."Look at me, Mama, I'm a horse!" Jathan said, galloping. It was so cute! I wasn't sure if they'd taught him that at PE or if he'd just picked it up on his own but for some reason at that moment, I was one proud mommy as if calculus comes right after acquiring the ability to gallop or something. = )
We meandered slowly, as four-year old's often do, taking note of the stars. "How many stars do you think are out in space, Jathan?"
"I don't know. How many SPACESHIPS do you think are out there?" 'Cause, you know, thinking about aliens is so much cooler than regular ole' stars.
And of course he had to stop and examine each and every tree for "treasures." He found two good pine cones, one baby and one mama (we learned how to ID the "male" and "female" cones last year). He found some cool mushrooms growing around a tree. One tree that we stopped at had a ton of sea shells around it.
We waved at friends and random joggers. We imagined what the train whistle was saying--"Looooook out! Coooooming throoooooough!"
When we got to the corner where we'd ordinarily turn to go back home, Jathan said, "Let's go that way," pointing straight ahead. So we did. In that direction were cypress nuts and acorns and then, discovery of all discoveries--a lizard. It was tiny and brown and I don't even know how he spotted it but he really wanted to catch it and take it home. "I don't have a pet, Mama!" So he made a grab for it and got it. Well, he got it's tail anyway. The rest of the lizard ran away leaving the tiny little tail still wriggling in between his fingers! Then we talked about why it wouldn't be a great idea to take the tail home (because body parts tend to stink after a while) which reinforced what we'd been studying about our senses (that God gave us a sense of smell in part to warn us of potential danger--detached body parts stink!).
Then we rounded the corner and headed down the sidewalk to home. I almost didn't want to go because I was having such a good time and Piper had drifted off to dreamland in the stroller. What's better than a stroll under the stars--a gentle breeze blowing--with a sweetly curious little boy? I love him so much that sometimes I have to just stop and blink back the tears. I'm so grateful for the precious time I have with him. He helps me walk a little slower, look in places I'd never think to look, and smile deep down in my soul. Thank You, God, for giving me one of the best titles a woman could hope to get: Mama.