It is quite a dreary day. The rain is hitting hard against the window. I can see the puddles dancing as the drops endlessly pelt them. The sky is cool and grey, not a ray of sun to be seen. I am preparing to pick the kids up from school as I peer out the window for the most accurate weather forecast. I can see the other parents running as if they can beat the drops or weave between them. There appears to be a parade of umbrellas battling to fit through the playground gate. I remove two oilskin cowboy hats from their hooks in the hallway and begin my harrowing journey down the never ending block to the school. The kids love to don these hats and pretend to fight their way home on some epic, rain swept adventure. As I feel the rain on my face I remember earlier days of marching younger daughters down this same block to kindergarten and pre-k, shooing them out of the puddles as they giggled. When my oldest attended school but her sister did not, the little one used to love skipping through the puddles and filling her boots with water outside her sister's classroom. To this day neither one likes to give up the outside playground for the cramped quarters inside the school during inclement weather. Both would rather experience the weather, question the comings and goings of clouds or snowflakes or raindrops. They stand defiantly outside their classroom doors, daring their classmates to brave the elements alongside them.
I really hope my children never lose that wonder. I hope they never learn that fear. The fear of wet jeans or wet socks, the fear of messy, damp hair, the fear of wet hands from playing outside with wet toys. I hope that they always remember that a little rain on the skin does not melt them but washes away worries. There is nothing like the freedom of playing in the puddles of a spring rain. I still marvel at how much fun a puddle can be. Too many times too many people forget what it is to be young, to be carefree, to give in to the giggles, and that those giggles can bring rays of sun on the dreariest of days.