There are a lot of beautiful moments in each day of parenthood, from the time Lily wakes up with a smile on her face to the squeals of joy in the bathtub, but one of my favorite things is our family ritual of taking an evening walk. After the bath is done, fresh clothes are put on, and a bottle has been eaten, we bundle the little one up in her stroller and take her on a walk around our neighborhood. With the long summer days we’ve been catching the light as it shifts from sunset to dusk to dark, and there’s something so calming about being out in the night as the air cools against your skin, watching the stars come out.
If she’s not already asleep, Lily will be passed out by the time the walk is over, and I love that she’s falling asleep to the gentle rocking of her stroller and the sounds of her parents talking, happy and relaxed. Afterwards, we walk into the house with our bodies that pleasant kind of tired that comes from slow exercise, and I scoop Lily into my arms. Her body is heavy and warm, and when she’s asleep she’s loose-limbed and full of milk breath. She rolls her cheek onto my shoulder and dangles her arms around my neck and sleeps the sleep of someone who knows she is protected and loved. There’s nothing better than knowing we have given her that feeling.