Today was the day: I put waterproof pants and boots on Rafael and set him loose to explore the woods on foot!
He must have known something was different when I put the plastic overalls on him, and his new clunky winter boots. When I took him out of the stroller and set him on the forest path, he stood still for a moment, holding his apple, looking around him, wondering what he was supposed to do.
"Go on Rafael," I said, "Walk around!" He looked at me and then at the path. He took a first few wobbly steps...the boots were hard to walk in at first. But soon he was shrieking with delight, walking as fast as his little legs allowed, falling down every once in a while, rolling in the leaf piles, following the dogs into the ditches, thoroughly dirty and happy.
This is truly the beginning of a new part of his life. He will no longer watch the woods pass him by, tucked into the wooly warmth of his stroller, merely a witness to the beauty around him. Now every walk will be an adventure! Full of discovery and messy exploration. It is such an awesome thing to watch.
Thank you for your kind notes, I know it's been such a long time since I last posted. Everything is absolutely fine, I have just been too tired in the evenings to write or work on photos.
I hope you are all doing very well, getting into the holiday spirit. I put up the very first Christmas decorations today, and am so much looking forward to December!