step on a crack

I wanted spaghetti for dinner tonight because it is the only meal Alice likes enough to ask for a second helping. But I needed sauce, so we made a walk of it.

The stroller stayed home. She can handle the few blocks to the grocery store now. She squares her shoulders and walks between us with such concentrated purpose that I stare and laugh. More girl than baby. It’s mesmerizing.

By the time we got to the corner, she had reached up and wrapped her hands around my index finger on her left side and David’s on her right. She counted off, “two … two … two” and lifted her feet so we could swing her up over the cracks in the concrete.

I don’t know very much yet about how a child learns to regulate her emotions. After a while, I imagine, she will begin to tamp her impatience and dilute her frustration. It will be quieter. For now, the best part of any day is the raw exuberance of her joy. How you can see it zip through her. How it spills over in squeals and dancing.

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