This morning the garbage man will pick up a dented, green Chicco umbrella stroller with a broken footrest. It’s hard to open and even harder to close and for this reason we are not giving it away but are discarding it.
I bought this stroller in May of 2003 as we were preparing to leave on our 13-month journey with baby Tommy. I think I paid 38 dollars for it. I was looking for something portable and light, yet also sturdy; a stroller that would serve us well in both the city and the country and would fold up easily. It fit the bill on all counts.
Since its purchase the stroller had been to around the country and across the Atlantic Ocean, to a list of destinations that includes Boston, New Haven, London, Rome, Florence, Madison, Kansas City, Austin, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Burlington, Paris, Philadelphia, Washington, Manhattan, Baltimore and Chicago.
The stroller has been through airport security dozens of times; has traveled down the longest escalator in Europe at the Angel, Islington Tube stop; has ridden double-decker buses and trains; and has climbed to the Piazzale Michelangelo. It has served as crib and highchair when duty called and it has carried backpacks and coats when no one wanted to ride in it.
It has seen the Tower Bridge,
The Boboli Gardens,
and the Îsle Saint-Louis.
But despite all the walking we knew we’d do in New York, we didn’t bring the stroller with us over Labor Day weekend. We really didn’t need it, you see. For one thing, as I think you can tell from these pictures my kids were often more interested in pushing it than riding in it. And for another, I’m a believer that as soon as one is able, it’s best to experience and negotiate the world with one’s own two feet. We have thus become officially a family that travels without a stroller. This feels like a major milestone and is for the most part one that I celebrate.
But this Monday I’m also dreaming of the challenge – and joy – of traveling with my babies. Of negotiating their constant needs in new environments. Of feeling a sense of accomplishment because they actually saw what I wanted them to see and had a nap. Of climbing on the bus and folding up that stroller with one hand while handing a snack to a little one with the other. It was worth every minute and then some, although I’m not sure I always knew it at the time. I know the stroller would back me up, stained and broken though it may be.
What is your Monday dream? Please feel free to share a link below. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.