Owen wasn’t feeling good so Kinsley and I head to the grocery store, just the two of us. It’s rare for me to head out with just one kid in tow and I enjoy it when it happens. I have the chance to slow down and shift into toddler mode.
It’s only a half mile walk. I bring the stroller but Kinsley has reached the point where she doesn’t really need it. Often I’ll buckle her in to get places faster, but today there was no rush. We move at Kinsley speed. Kinsley speed is a special thing. It switches unexpectedly from full run, just for the joy of running, to full stop examination mode, and right back again.
Just out of the marina I boost her onto the balancing wall, this little one adores heights. She’s beautifully aware of her own balance, slowing for corners, speeding up on the straightaways, staying away from the edge. She stops our trip for the first time at the end of the wall to examine small orange berries dropped from a tree. Each is plucked from the bunch, each stem removed. She rolls them back and forth in her palm for a long time before placing them in a pile. For the squirrels, she informs me.
Back to full speed, small shoes slapping the brick sidewalk. She doesn’t look back, trusting me to follow. I don’t worry about her dashing into the street, there’s a fire hydrant before the crossing and I know she’ll stop to say hello.
Our next stop is longer. There’s street working happening. Kinsley happily talks to herself, narrating the action, asking herself questions and answering them, for more than twenty minutes. It takes the smell of pouring asphalt to move us along.
Sidewalks are narrow in Charlestown but that doesn’t matter. The curbs are made for balancing.
Fall is sneaking in and dropping golden leaves, magic wands according to this little girl. The are collected while Kinsley names who each one should be saved for. One for Memere, one for Auntie Beth, one for Stephanie, one for Alysa…
She pushes the stroller, balances more, visits with more fire hydrants, and generally takes notice of all the small details I usually overlook in my rush to arrive.
The farm stand is a rainbow of color, even this far into the fall. Kinsley insists that we need corn, a purple pepper, Kinsley sized tomatoes, and a peach. Who am I to argue? She eats the peach down to the stone with juice running everywhere and licks her fingers afterwards.
I plan dinner around the corn as we arrive at the grocery store, an hour and a half after we headed out.
Kinsley speed is lovely.
- Joy Weiss