The Climb

The dog was out of sight, but Lev kept climbing. Though he had traveled to the park in his stroller, as usual at the first opportunity to pet a doggie he had wriggled out. Also as usual, when the dog took off, Lev toddled after as fast as he could go. However, this time, instead of heading to the flat field by the pond where the dogs usually play, this dog turned up the rocky path that winds to the top of the hill. Lev followed.

The dog quickly lost him, of course, but a new purpose seemed to have taken over Lev. Even though the path was rough, and the rocks and tree roots presented his short legs with considerable difficulties, he clearly wanted to climb. I tried as best I could to drag the stroller after, but when the path came to a pass and Lev turned off the path onto the ridge, I left it behind. Even without the path, Lev kept climbing.

True to its name, Menotomy Rocks Park has large rock outcroppings that overlook the pond and the playing field. The route we were taking looped around the back of the hill and over a low ridge, from which one could walk through clearings to get to the overlook. Now it was clear that this was Lev’s goal. It felt strangely like walks I have been on with someone else I know — someone who is perpetually driven to conquer the peak and bag the view. Soon enough, Lev and I arrived at the overlook, and, clutching him tightly, I pointed out the pond and field below us.

After that, Lev wandered more aimlessly, and I was able to guide him back the other way around the hill, rejoining the path and then looping back to where I had left the stroller. There was a slight delay along the way while he indulged in some puddle stomping, but when we got back, the stroller was, to my relief, undisturbed. Lev continued to be open to suggestion on where to go, so I led him down the rocky path, dragging the stroller, with some difficulty, after. Then Lev resumed his ordinary baby piddling in the lowlands, his outbreak of purpose over. However, the incident may herald the very beginning of a new era of Lev outings… maybe more adult goals are on the horizon. And it seems like he might share some predilections with a certain other person I know…