Last week, I took Jasper to the zoo. It was a fairly nice day - sunny, if a little chilly for my comfort. Lately our zoo trips conclude with a stop at the playground, and the swings. We finished our swinging ritual and I sat Jasper down in the grass, before putting him back in his stroller. A little girl walked over to Jasper and checked him out, standing behind him. I said Hi to her. Her dad was nearby and said Hello. He asked how old Jasper was. Jasper remained seated in the grass, pulling at it but not eating it. Fifteen months, I replied. To reciprocate, I asked how old his daughter was. Thirteen months. Almost. Started walking when she was eight months old, his tone giving the impression that he was her primary care giver. The proud father. And by the look of him, an avid sports fan. Fan. Not participant. Although I hadn’t asked, he proceeded to tell me how he’d made his infant daughter “exercise” prior to walking. Of course, he couldn’t have known that he was boasting about his precocious daughter to a mom whose son had a stroke and is delayed. He couldn’t have known how I am holding my breath, waiting for Jasper to walk. And not on tippy toes. In my mind is the number eighteen, as in walking by eighteen months, I hope. But really I would love him to walk right now. Or by summer, so that I can hold Jasper’s hand and walk along the beach with him.
The dad did not get to finish telling me about his young daughter’s exercise routine. She interrupted him when she saw a bird flying overhead, pointed at it, and said, “buuurd??” Without saying a word, I put Jasper back in his stroller and we went home.