It was just a set of steps. Three or four granite slabs set into the side of a grassy hill. The steps didn’t lead anywhere. In fact, you could skip them entirely simply by walking up the hill beside them only to be met with more hill beyond.
They sat close to the edge of the main road into town so we passed them frequently, and somehow, though I don’t remember why, they became our steps. We imagined why they were there and who built them. Perhaps they weren’t built at all and just magically appeared one day. Or maybe, equally magical, they grew up like the grass all around, always a part of the landscape, long before a road was forged alongside.
We talked about climbing them, these steps to nowhere, but we were always on our way somewhere. School, the store, back home again. As time went on we noticed them with less frequency and talked about them even less than that.
And then one day on our way into town, she stopped. Pulled right over on the side of the road in front of those steps. I wondered what she was doing, if something was wrong, but she stepped out of the car with a, “Come on out,” so I quickly followed.
“Pretty soon you’ll be too old to want to climb these steps with me. Even the idea will embarrass you. But not yet. You’re not too old yet.”
For several minutes we took turns climbing those steps. I raced up, surveyed the view from the top, which was really no different than from the bottom, and hop, skipped, and jumped back down. She walked up, looked down at me with a smile, and returned to our starting place. We climbed them together, hand in hand. Then we got back in the car and continued on our way, the steps fading into the distance as the miles stretched between us.
The steps still remain on that grassy hill and I pass them occasionally. Each time I do I think back with fondness to the day we turned our talk into action. And I think with fondness of the woman who was wise enough to take five minutes to do a seemingly frivolous thing that her little girl has never forgotten.
Don’t wait until they’re too big to do that thing you always talk about.
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I love love LOVE this story!!!! What a great mom (I’m assuming it was your mom, maybe I’m wrong.) to take a few minutes to do something spontaneous. I always try to remember to make time for life instead of just our schedule. I’m going to start looking for some step-moments with my children.
I love that phrase “step-moments”. I’m going to use it from now on!
Do something unexpected right? Planned spontaneity…beautiful story of your mom!
Frivolous, yes, but enchanting all the same. What a beautiful memory she created for you!
A very sweet post, Lauren.
Jenny @ Unremarkable Files says
For some reason I just love steps like those. There are a lot of them in New England. Where did they come from? Who built them and when? What was their purpose? I mean, besides being a sweet backdrop for family photos.
Kirsten Toyne says
What a wonderful post. You are so right. It is the small things that we remember and childhood goes so fast. I sometimes feel caught up in the cycle of endless mother work and have to stop myself to think that the work can wait, but having time with the kids can’t.
It’s so hard to remember that, that our time with them is short, but it really is good to stop sometimes!
What a sweet story. Those spontaneous moments are important. I find myself wondering often which silly little things we do with our kids will be the thing they remember?
I wonder that too! I think about all the random things I remember and wonder what my kids will remember.
I have so many fond memories like this from when I was little, especially a mysterious red door in the side of a “mountain.” We always loved making up stories about what it was and where it came from. When I was older, I learned it was for ice storage way back when and it helped me to know and more love the place I grew up.
I love that!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oh Lauren, this is just too sweet. Isn’t funny how these seemingly insignificant things make such a big difference to a child?! I remember my mom one hot night in the summer, getting me from my bed and bringing me to sit with the on the front step of our house. We drank rootbeer and talked. I think I was about 8 years old. That is one of my fondest memories with my mom.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful memory (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
Wishing you a lovely day.
That is such a great memory! It really is the littlest moments that mean the most.
Tricia the Good Mama says
Oh, this is so sweet! I try to make sure to do stuff like this with my son now. I hope he won’t get too old to hang out with mom, but I know he will! Just the other day we stopped and had a picnic lunch. It was so nice just the two of us.
I’m sure those moments feel even more sweet now that you have your second on the way. I remember the day before I had Samuel, bringing Eli to the playground, and thinking how it was the last day for it to be just the two of us. So bittersweet.
Love this post. And how many times we miss those sweet moments. It is never too late to enjoy those things from childhood. Visiting from Thoughtful Thursday.
What a beautiful memory, and a great sentiment about seizing these days with our children. It’s true what you say: we should never wait to do the things we just talk about. Taking words and turning them into action is a great example for our children to follow, and experience as well. Thanks for such a lovely post! You’ve inspired me to seize the days and actions with my one year old with a bit more vigor. Have a wonderful day!
This is such a beautiful and heartfelt sentiment!
Tove Maren says
I loved this story. You are SO right – taking a few minutes to do those little things can mean the world later on in life.
My dad and I made it a mission to walk on every single street in the (obviously) small town I grew up in. We had a map that we crossed the streets off on – and even the dead-end streets we walked down and turned around… Now that he is gone, passed away 7 years ago – I think of those walks with great fondness in my heart – and what I wouldn’t give to walk down a dead end street with him again.
What a wonderful memory!
Wow. I teared up a little bit.. I hope I have made this kind of impact on my kids. I’m pretty sure I have…..