And she loves it.
I have never seen her laugh so much... at the trees, the bushes, the snow, the wind. She is absolutely delighted.
She lays down face first on the sidewalk to feel how cold it is on her cheek. Then she rolls over to stare up at the blueness of the sky.
She likes to hunker down and tries to clean the sidewalk with her gloves.
She shrieks at any dog we see and waves to all passerby.
When we are on the main road, she looks up at me and asks hopefully for a "bus?" And if she's lucky, she sees one and the laughter starts all over again.
I wonder why we didn't do this sooner.
Then I remember: oh yeah, she couldn't walk... and it was 20 below and the streets were covered in snow and ice.
We have probably gone out in the stroller or in a carrier almost every day since she was born. But it really isn't the same as having the freedom to roam. It is one of the things that I am going to regret about raising my child in the city. For myself as a child, we had acres to run free and explore with nobody worrying about where we were or who we were talking to. Because we were in the backyard talking to each other, there was nobody else. In the big city, it is not that easy. We live on a busyish street and I don't see myself allowing M to roam free in our neighbourhood for a long while.
So I need to make sure that M gets plenty of opportunity to play in the great outdoors. And if that means I have to go camping and deal with icky bugs, well, I guess that is a sacrifice I'm going to have to make (but rest assured, I will pack that bug spray and probably end up sleeping in the car!!)