A Glorious Time

We achieve many milestones in our lives, but learning to walk, then moving about the world of our own power, has to be among the most awesome of those “steps”. I wrote the following in story form a couple of years ago, and present it now in a poem.

A Glorious Time


He was toddling, in every sense of the word toddler

With all the intensity of his being

Toward the swings, the slide, the merry go round

And the other exciting fixtures of the playground


I wondered if he could even see them

Or was he simply traveling in their direction

Prepared to deal with whatever was there

When he arrived


Such, I believe, is the world

In the eyes of small ones

Who have only recently discovered

The ability to move about on their own power


Toddling; walking in short tottering steps

In the manner of a young child

Toddler; a youngster who has only recently learned

To place one foot in front of the other

A glorious time in one’s life, I suspect

Though I cannot recall it


One arm swinging wildly, leaning forward

Body on a different schedule than his feet

Seeming about to fall with each lurching movement, yet…

Oblivious to the pain said fall might entail


Destination of no importance

Forward motion the only goal

An endeavor of utter purposelessness

Existing only for the next step, and to wherever…

Whatever… it might lead


This, I contend is the prime of one’s life

The likes of which will never be seen again

Can we say for sure there is a better moment in time

Than when we stand, then move forward…

Without the help of another

I think not


Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


A day late, but sharing this on dVerse Poets Pub’s Open Link feature.—> And Then I Saw The Toddler

To read the story versio, click here


  1. smiles…its is cool to watch little kids as they are just learning life….learning to stand and walk…experiencing life for the first time…freedom for the first time….that next to last stanza, i like it much as it def speaks to freedom…of purpose…that changes so very fast….

    • You see right through me, Brian. This story/poem was much about freedom. The truest form of which is experienced in those earliest days when everything is new and the world is ours to discover.

  2. Oh, Charles, This is a L♥ve, not a like. I have been fascinated by babies and toddlers walking since my son learned to walk in the fall of 1967…and you have given me fresh perspective with your verse:

    “I wondered if he could even see them
    Or was he simply traveling in their direction
    Prepared to deal with whatever was there
    When he arrived”

    That is so awesome an observation…and it never dawned on me to think that … not that I can recall after all these years of watching the amazing thrill of toddlers walking for the first time .. and then running with glee.

    Thank you so much…

    • I like to try to imagine what young ones are thinking. They are truly free and excited about what’s in front of them.

  3. Mary said

    I like your thoughts here, Charles. The joy in moving forward, not caring exactly where…..but just the joy in doing it oneself. Yes, indeed, a glorious time of life, one we can experience once and then never again…..

    • Sadly, we cannot go back to the time when allt hings were fresh and new. Or… maybe we can, in a different way.

  4. kkkkaty said

    Ah…a journey back to early childhood when we were so brave and innocent..i like the curiosity and thrill of learning and discovering..hopefully we still have that in our lives all life long 😉

    • I think we can still have it, Katy. Not in the same way it was back then, but we can still approach the world and life with excitement and wonder. Can’t we?

  5. Tony Maude said

    Not used to seeing you sofar down the OLN list Charles. I hope all is well.

    The poem is a delight. I too have forgotten those days, but have plenty of reminders form other people’s children.

    • Got real usy for a spell there, Tony! Everything is back to normal now. Thanks for the concern!
      Thanks for the comment on the poem too!

  6. Truedessa said


    I really enjoyed this you write with a message food for thought. Forward motion is always good..reminds me of a book I heard of Forward Thinking..nice..

    • Thank you! Yes, I snuck a little message–or two–into this one. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  7. rmp said

    such a sweet piece. I can picture the little waddle. I’m sure when they first got up the had a destination in mind, but I’d wager just the act of toddling along has them so entranced they won’t much care is the end up at the swing instead of the slide.

    • I think they’re attention spans are pretty short, and they tend to find new things to be excited about with each step and turn of the head. I want to see life the way they do!

  8. ayala said

    Sweet, I love it . 🙂

  9. Indeed, well said. And likening it to a child on a playground makes it very clear.

  10. Raivenne said

    “An endeavor of utter purposelessness”

    I have to disagree with that line, Charles. To the soon-to-be erstwhile crawler, that the step should go somewhere where, is almost secondary. The simple fact is the step IS the purpose.

    Excellent write Charles, from a perspective almost none of us can recall.

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