Just chalk it up to yet another thing my kid is big enough to do these days: an actual hike. I mean, it was probably about a mile, round trip, so not too taxing a hike, but it was a walk along a trail that didn't end in a playground, and I call that a hike.
Maeve loved everything about the creek, especially throwing things into it. She really wanted to get into the water, or get us to go into the water, so we had to point out all the overhanging icicles - that water was super cold! But she chucked a small army of rocks and sticks into the water with happy abandon, just to hear the plunk or watch them float.
And get this, parent friends, we forgot to have her use the potty before we left, and she managed not to have any accidents on this hour-long walk next to a rushing creek! The sound of it was getting to me, but she somehow held it! We were so amazed!
Maeve enjoyed every minute of the walk, even when she was tired enough to want to go home, she still kind of wanted to stay just a little longer. I forgot how fun it is for a kiddo to explore a new landscape. And her new cry, Mom, I found something interesting! is really fun to hear, even over and over. Even if it's just another leaf. Again.