American Child

I was putting Klara in the car this morning when she saw a woman walking past the house.

“Why is the nice lady walking, Mommy?” she asked.

“Because she likes to walk,” I said. “Walking is fun.”

“But why she doesn’t have a car?”

“I’m sure she does but sometimes it’s nice to walk.”

“But you never walk, Mommy,” Klara said. “You drive a car. You never walk on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are not for going.”

In my defense, I love walking and I’ve literally never had a better time in my life than when Klara was an infant and I could take her out for walks in her stroller. We were out walking 3-4 hours a day every day. But as soon as she learned to say no, she refused to go back in the stroller, and that was that for our walks. We go to parks and playgrounds a lot but as for actual walking, 15 minutes in she demands that I carry her, and that’s untenable.

There is a Chinese grandma in the neighborhood who takes her almost-5-year-old boy for long walks in the stroller every day. I envy her but Klara is not the kind of child who’ll sit in the stroller even for 10 minutes.