Recently, I took B and a friend for a walk up to see our neighborhood donkeys. The girls and I started these walks almost 12 years ago, with me pushing them in strollers. Technically, we visit mules, but we’ve always called them donkeys, maybe because it’s more fun to say. Don-kees!
That morning, we brought carrots and plucked weeds that we stuck through the fence, like we’ve been doing for almost 12 years. The girls squealed with those big teeth came too close their fingers. They worried about being fair between the big bully who stole the grass from the timid mule. They worked up their courage to stroke soft noses.
Only this time it started differently. B’s friend had spent the night, they’d gotten up staggeringly early and set out for the mules on their own and gotten lost on the dirt, woodsy paths through neighbors yards. Not lost enough to be a problem, just lost enough for them to come home and wake me up so that I could take them.
So I got up, got dressed, made tea and pulled out four large carrots, put a leash on the new puppy for the first time, and led them through the nebulous paths of our neighbors yard.
I was calmed by B’s wanting to show her friend this little treat. She’s been getting more independent – wanting to stay up all night, venturing further afield on the computer, embarking on bigger and better cooking and craft projects that are huge and messy and sometimes vaguely unsafe.
This newer phase is worrying to me because a lot of it seems to require more discipline and conflict. She wants more independence and I’m not yet sure, moment to moment, how much to give her.
That morning, the two friends walked along side by side while I wrestled with tea and the puppy. B showed off her neighborhood, the friend responding with oohs and aahs at feeding the donkeys carrots from the flat of their hands. They admired the little animal statues our neighbors have scattered around their property.
B is full tilt into building what she likes, thinking how to structure her day with pleasure. How to provide fun and entertainment for a friend. She’s taking charge and the content of it is partly what I gave her when I was in charge. No more wheeling the stroller up the hill to show the babies the donkeys. The baby is taking it for her own, and jumping into the joy of sharing with others.
I’m still needed for logistics, but some of life’s pleasures have been handed down. I was given a gift of understanding this is how it works. Sigh. I get it. This is where the trust comes in: what was given has been taken and, now is slowly going back out to the world. It’s nice that it’s not just my mannerisms and bad habits. It’s also the art of taking the morning softly, with warm tea, sweet animals and a good friend.
This post is part of a series of posts on trust, based on the 21-Day Salutes originated by blogger Colleen Wainwright. The intention is to write daily to help shift a habit. Originally, she had been told that it takes 21 days of new behavior to change a habit. She has since found out that it is apparently takes much longer. Oh well….