One of my favorite things to do is borrow my granddaughter, Lucy, and take her for a walk. Her mommy bundles her up and sends us on our way over the bumpy sidewalks of downtown Bath. As Lucy lounges in her stroller, taking in the sights and sounds, I imagine she feels like the world is her kingdom and she’s the queen. I’m only the lowly handmaid, answering to her every whim. We stop when she wants to pet a friendly doggie, admire a shiny truck and gaze curiously at the baubles displayed in the jewelry store window.

“What’s that?” my granddaughter asks, pointing to a platinum ring. The gleaming azure-colored stone pales in comparison to her brilliant blue eyes. She peers through the glass, babbling something I don’t understand, as the smiling proprietor looks on. When we leave the diamonds, Lucy gives a Princess Di wave, craning her neck to keep the objects of her desire in sight. “Someday, sweetheart, someday,” I assure her as we move on.

I find myself laughing out loud, knowing little Lucy has been to that particular shop with her mother on more than one occasion. A vision of the grown-up Lucy comes to mind – gliding into the shop in all her long-legged glory, flowing chestnut hair glinting in the sunlight filtering through the plate glass window as she searches for a gemstone worthy enough to set off her strength and beauty.

Even though she’s only 1½ years old, I know from experience this little cherub will be a young woman in just the blink of an eye. As I push m’lady’s carriage up the hill, I recall how only yesterday it was her mother going for stroller rides, blond curls bouncing, her cheeks pink with excitement. That lovely lass will be 26 this month. Yes, time flies. I do some quick math and realize, starting with my baby sister, I’ve been pushing babies in strollers for the better part of 40 years, and I like it more and more the older I get.

Lucy beckons me back to the present with a squeal of delight as yet another doggie on a leash prances towards us. We visit with its owner, our friend Nicole, as the sky goes from blue to pink, then Lucy lets me know with a few frustrated squawks that it’s time to move along and find Mommy. Besides, I’ve been promised hot chocolate; and after all the exercise, I could use a sugar fix.

We take the side streets past stately captains’ homes that butt right up to the sidewalk. Lucy peers with interest into the softly lit windows while I provide a running commentary. There’s a living room with red walls, gilt-framed portraits and a high-backed sofa. Two houses down, a couple are cooking together in a bright kitchen – their heads bowed over the task at hand, steam rising from a stockpot on the stove.

Around the corner, a stooped white-haired lady eats her meal alone in front of her television. Next door, a calico cat observes us from his perch on a wide windowsill while two children jump on a trampoline in the middle of a carpeted playroom.

I push the stroller carefully through a parking lot and across the street, letting Lucy know we’re almost home. I point to the towering house where the lamps are lit and her supper is waiting for her. As we navigate the slippery drive, Lucy leans forward in anticipation. There’s no place like home. I park the stroller, scoop her up, kiss her rosy cheeks and we go inside.

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