The Child in Me

It’s summer in Minnesota, or as we like to call it, the season of construction, mosquitos and humidity. This year I’m adding “thunderstorms” to that list, as it seems we’ve had more than the usual number of them for some reason. A number of our rivers had flood warnings associated with them, and as I am typing this I looked at the radar, and storms are setting up already today and it’s only 7:00 in the morning. Of course all the rain has provided a rich source of breeding grounds for even more mosquitos. That in turn, means more visits from the DNR as they fly overhead with the helicopter loaded with mosquito bomb pellets. I swear when they come over the house and I feel the cavitation from the rotors, it’s all I can do not to yell, “hit the deck!” and fall to the floor.

I am fortunate enough to be able to be a surrogate mom for my next door neighbor’s dogs, at least for the time being, and let them out during the day, and the other day when I went over there, it was one of those lovely rainy days out. So I put on a rain jacket and headed out, and on my way back I thought, “I’m going to take a quick walk. What’s the worst thing that will happen?  I have on sandals that can get wet, so no problem there. My Capri jeans will get wet. So what? I won’t melt.” So off I went.

I’d forgotten how much fun it was to take a walk in a warm rain. I loved the sound of the raindrops on my hood, on the leaves on the trees. It was so unbelievably peaceful and calming. After I’d been walking a bit, I noticed that I’d started stepping less and shuffling my feet more (sorry Dad, I know you hated it when I did that and I can still hear you say “pick up your feet”!). It didn’t take long before I was kicking up small water puddles, and from there I worked my way up to bigger ones. It got more and more fun, and soon I was soaked above my knees.

When was the last time you went puddle stomping?  There is a reason toddlers and children do it, there really is something truly freeing about it.

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Many thanks to my great neighbor who allowed me to take this photo, and to her awesome daughter for playing along!

I almost put my hood down and tipped my head back letting the rain run on my face – cue the dramatic music here – as I stretched out my arms and twirled in a circle – but I figured if I did that, the next thing I’d see was the men in white coats with a straightjacket. As Robert Fulgham said in “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, you can’t explain everything you do to everybody, you know. So I did the big Hollywood movie twirl in my mind but continued the puddle stomping throughout my walk, until my rubber sandals were so wet they squeaked and I had wrinkly toes.

If you have the chance to go puddle stomping, unleash your inner child and go for it. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll feel great afterwards. Your stress levels will drop and you’ll find your shoulders aren’t up by your earlobes anymore, and your mind will be clearer. That’s all good, no matter what age you are.

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