Summertime Ritual

This week has been one of changes and new routines for us, and one of the things that we have been wanting to implement is taking an after-dinner walk as a family. For the longest time, we just couldn't get our act together to go for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood together. Maybe it was because the Monkey wanted to be carried rather than wanting to walk. Maybe it was because it was a little gray and cool all the way through June. Or maybe it was just because we weren't trying hard enough. Whatever the reason, we hadn't gotten around to it. Until this week.

The Monkey loves (and I mean LOVES) popsicles. I made the mistake a few weeks ago of letting him eat one in the living room, and there were sticky red popsicle drips everywhere. It seemed that I kept finding sticky popsicle puddles on every single surface of our living room for days. So earlier this week, when the Monkey asked for a popsicle as we cleaned the kitchen after dinner, it dawned on me: this would be the way to get my family outside and walking every night after dinner. A new ritual, something that can become a part of our summer evenings.

And, just like that, a new ritual has been born. Almost every night this week, after dinner dishes are loaded in the dishwasher, we put on our shoes and a bib for the Monkey. We each choose our favorite color popsicle, and off we go. It's a leisurely walk, stopping often to admire the flowers, chat with neighbors, point out trucks, and pet dogs. We're getting to meet neighbors we didn't know before and laughing an awful lot. As an added bonus, the Monkey is tuckered out and ready for his bedtime routine by the time we make it back home.

Yay for new rituals!

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