Usually on rainy days, like the one we had yesterday, I think, Great, now I’ll be cooped inside all day with my rambunctious toddler. I know there’s somewhere we can go where he can run off his energy, but (insert whine) it’s raining!
As a child, I loved rainy days. Growing up in Louisiana, we had plenty of rainy days. I loved standing outside, feeling the drops of rain touch my skin. I would even spread out my arms and open my mouth, hoping for a taste of one little drop. Spinning around under a soothing rainfall made me immensely happy. Rain showers never last long in Louisiana. Sooner than you expect, the sun would pop out from behind the clouds to greet the newly formed rainbow. I would then hop barefoot in all the puddles on our paved driveway, splashing them as hard as I could.
When did I, when did we, lose that spontaneity and joy for life? I didn’t worry about getting wet. It felt great. I didn’t care that my mother would yell at me when I came in the house. All I knew was that I wanted, no needed to dance in the rain.
Nowadays, it’s easy to let to-do lists, errands, and housework rule my thoughts. A rainy day means no sun, so no outdoor activities. Yesterday afternoon, as Jaxson and I walked to the bus stop to wait for his sister to return to us, he glanced at the puddles that the morning’s rain had left in our path. I caught a gleam in his eyes. I knew exactly what he was thinking. He wanted to splash in those puddles.
I promised Jaxson he could jump into as many puddles as his heart’s desire, but only after his sister came home. I’m still his mother and I didn’t want him be wet in the cold while we waited for the school bus. Jaxson could barely contain his excitement. As soon as his sister stepped off the bus, he was ready! He chubby toddler hands pulled mine towards the nearest puddle.
We walked leisurely back to our apartment. Each puddle he spotted, no matter how small, gave him pure delight as he jumped and splashed. Once he was satisfied that he has splashed enough water around, he moved on to the next puddle. Even Sophia, who didn’t want to go puddle hopping, couldn’t resist. She joined him after the second or third puddle. Together the ran back and forth in a long stream-like puddle, laughing and screaming.
Watching them made my heart deliciously full and happy. If only I could have bottled their laughter. I’m glad I stopped to smell the remnants of the morning’s downpour. The rain gave me a gift yesterday. It reminded me that it’s fun to get wet. Splashing in muddy puddles reminds us that we’re still alive and grounded to nature.
Metaphorically, the rain and puddles remind me that some days might seem gloomy and cold at first. I have to look past the cold and wet to find laughter and love. Often that’s hard to do when I’m feeling angry or down or under appreciated. There’s always a puddle somewhere to splash.
Next time, I’m getting my feet wet too.