I noticed it suddenly one day. Everyone else was walking differently than I did. Everybody else was swinging their arms around like windmills when they walked.
Why were they doing that? That was certainly strange. They looked like floppy toy soldiers.
When I walked, my well-behaved arms stayed quietly at my sides, like they ought to. I didn’t want to swing my arms around like a lunatic, but I knew it was important to walk like everybody else. So, that afternoon, I practiced.
I walked up and down the sidewalk, taking slow, long strides, swinging my arms in time with my strides, until it felt less and less awkward and I felt I could walk like that all the time. I began to head for home using my newly-acquired technique. On the way, I happened to spot an older girl walking across the street. As I compared her gait to my own, somehow it penetrated that what I was doing didn’t match.
Oh, no! I had gotten it all wrong. When I’d stepped forward with my right leg, I had swung my right arm forward—right with right, left with left, that had made sense to me! Now I realized that I had to reverse all the learning I had done—right foot with left arm, left foot with right arm.
It seemed extremely complicated. It took me several tries to get through the new sequence. Once I had it, though, did feel easier than my old way, even if still awkward. And, of course, entirely unnecessary. Why did people swing their arms, anyway?
After another longer practice session, I was again ready to head for home. Off I went, proud that I had taught myself to fit in, careful not to make a mistake, swinging my arms precisely.
Each time exactly as high towards the back as towards the front. I must have made quite a sight. Almost as funny a sight as I had made when I walked around the previous years with my arms resting immobile by my sides.
Nonetheless, I’m proud now of that little girl for her perception, adaptability, and perseverance.
Way to go, little B. !