Sam and I went for a hike this morning at our favorite regional park 10 minutes from home. We've been going there often since he was a wee babe, sometimes in the ergo carrier, or the backpack, or the stroller. Lately, Sam wants to walk by himself, and today he covered over a quarter mile with a modest elevation gain. We went all the way up to the pond with Sam toddling along ahead, stopping now and then to take a closer look at all the flowers by the side of the trail. We got to the pond and threw a few stones in to hear the plop (I did, he doesn't know throwing yet). We listened to the redwing blackbirds chirping to each other from tree to tree. Sam was prepared to keep hiking on his own, but I put him in the stroller, a little against his will....because sometimes I just need us to go at my pace for a bit.