I love to walk. In fact, walking is the only exercise I can tolerate, besides yoga and even with yoga I run out of patience. There’s nothing I love more than packing up the stroller, grabbing an iced coffee, and heading out for the morning.
It’s rare when I’m walking without a stroller. Jonathan Franzen wrote in his book Freedom about a mother walking encumbered by the stroller with bags hanging off of it running her stroller errands. This totally fits me. And although I love it and am lucky my son loves it, I always feel amazingly free to be walking without one.
A few times it has happened lately that didn’t involve rushing to or from work. One was after putting our son to bed, I got a craving for ice cream. With my husband lodged on the couch, I set out down the street to the local ice cream shop on a summer night. It was still cool and as I was walking, there was a light breeze. I saw couples entering and leaving neighborhood restaurants and I realized, oh yeah, not everyone needs to jump through hoops to arrange a babysitter to go out. Some people have a nightlife. I felt a glimmer of who I used to be, someone who went out, who followed her every whim.
When I’m without the stroller, I run across streets without having to wait for the light. I can run into a shop without needing a team of people to hold the door for me. It’s amazingly freeing. I don’t even need a bag. I find myself volunteering to run out for a last minute grocery item or a bottle of wine just to savor the feeling.