by Cassidy Nunn –
You and I have covered many a kilometre and an array of terrain over the past two years together. We’ve been out in sun, wind, rain, and even snow – although that attempt led us to the realization that your tires were not rated appropriately for such an adventure, and we soon gave in to the elements. I’ve entrusted you with my daughter since she was a few days old and we made that first slow, sleepy dawdle through the neighbourhood. The fresh air on my face that afternoon was rejuvenating for both me and my daughter; after all the days spent cooped up inside before my hospital delivery followed by the days spent shuffling from the bed to the couch, figuring out the messy job of breastfeeding, I was desperate for a change of scenery.
That first walk, I placed my daughter gently in your bassinet, wrapped in several cozy layers and a pink toque that was still too big for her tiny head. She didn’t fuss and fell asleep almost immediately. I checked on her every two to three steps, pulling the blanket down anxiously to watch her chest rise and fall – phew, she’s still breathing! – before deeming it safe to continue on our trek.
As I’ve written about before, my daughter was born at the end of March 2020 when the pandemic was quickly changing everyone’s lives. It was a lonely, isolating time to be a first-time mum. I made it part of my routine to get out for a walk with you, my daughter and my dog nearly every day. I’d load you up with everything we could possibly need on our excursion: diaper bag, snacks, coffee, water, camera, wallet, blankets, extra blankets because you can never have too many, waterproof cover, dog poo bags and lastly the baby carrier in case she rejected you at any point; the walk must go on!
I’d pop my ear buds in and listen to a podcast or call my parents or a friend, eager to keep in touch with all those who I couldn’t share my daughter with in person at the time.
There was a lovely phase where I could almost guarantee you’d lull my daughter to sleep during our stroll and I’d venture even further from our usual route, enjoying the exercise and watching through my bleary, sleep-deprived eyes as my little one contentedly snoozed.
Then came the stage where she had grown so much it was time to introduce her to sitting upright and forward facing. I’d strap her in and watch as she delighted in discovering the world around her. Our evening walks during the holidays were my favourite – the holiday decorations elicited giggles, squeals and excited leg kicks, which didn’t bother you at all.
Once my daughter started walking, she went on strike and wanted nothing to do with you. I struggled with this as I missed our daily marches and being able to walk briskly enough to get my heartrate up. We parked you at the entrance of our home and for a few months, you patiently waited for her to take an interest in you again.
Her break from you lasted several months, but recently she’s tolerated a short ride, mostly I think because she’s concluded we can get to the playground quicker if we take you.
So, dear stroller, thank you for your years of service so far. For getting me and my daughter outside regularly, to walk and catch up with friends, and to show my daughter the amazing world around her. I realize our days are numbered, but I have many fond memories to look back on from the many, many steps we’ve taken together.