Adulthood has a rather sombre habit of dulling life’s shine sometimes, don’t you think? Well, let’s be honest, a LOT of the time. There are so many things which seem magical as a child that become dull, miserable and tiresome the older you get. Pet hamsters (so full of zoological possibility when you’re a child), the post (we were all waiting for that Hogwarts letter, weren’t we?), Christmas (suddenly Santa doesn’t exist anymore and you ARE Santa), to name but a few…
But let’s not forget the main victim that has the joy squeezed out of it by adulthood’s steely grip: THE WEATHER. No child is born hating the rain. When you’re a tiny person, a rainy day doesn’t equate to misery and staying in – it means you get to don your wellies and go find some puddles to splash in. Who cares about mud?! Oh, wait, that’s right, the grown-ups do. Mud means more washing up, doesn’t it? Society has drilled it into us that rainy weather is the ultimate gloom-generator – probably because it means people stay in and don’t spend money. Rain doesn’t complement our consumerist society very well, does it? After all, without the sun, you won’t get wrinkles, and then you’re not going to buy that anti-wrinkle cream, are you?! Anyway, that’s a whooooole other blog post.
Even before we became parents, we were always a bit mystified by this whole idea that grey, wet, foggy or windy weather means you can’t really go anywhere and have an adventure. It just didn’t make sense to us! If anything, it adds to the sense of wilderness. Plus, we’re in the UK, where it rains pretty much every day… and life is too short to wait for the sun to come out, don’t you think?
So we were determined when we became parents that we would celebrate the weather with our little one, whatever it happens to be like. Rain? That means lots of puddles to splash in. Wind? Makes for a dramatic outdoor selfie, like a Mariah Carey music video. Fog? Perfect for getting your spooky walk fix. In fact, as a fair-skinned family with one resident ginger, we would probably list heat as our least favourite weather. Things get sweaty (sometimes, in the summer, I even find my knees sweating – like, who even knew that knees could sweat?!), the brightness makes you squint, and wasps try to steal your chips (we’re a bug-loving family, but this love absolutely does NOT extend to those abhorrent flying stingy nettles. Get away from my chips).
You can imagine our delight, then, when we found out that our little one LOVES wet weather. He is always happiest when stomping through a puddle in his wellies. And he doesn’t particularly enjoy putting shoes on (understatement of the century – he hates it), but he will actually seek out his wellies and bring them over to us. There have been so many incidents where he’s fallen face first into a puddle and, instead of crying, burst into joyous laughter. He was definitely a mud-loving piglet in his past life (oh, look, another endearing term beginning with P that we can call him by!).
The only weather we haven’t experienced with him yet is our very favourite – snow. Even that can sometimes lose its appeal to some adults, but to us it’s the most magical weather of all. We live on the coast where the salty sea air means we don’t get snow very often, but we go on annual snow hunting trips every winter and absolutely can’t wait to take Pumpkin with us this year. We just know he’s going to love it. We’ll have him perfecting his snowball throwing technique by the time he starts school (although let’s hope he models his throwing after his sporty dad and not me).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you really stop and think about these things, there’s absolutely no reason to despise the rain. It nourishes the earth. It’s why our planet is so green. It’s life-giving stuff. So what if you get a little wet? Getting home and changing into warm, dry clothes will feel even better for it.
I’m not saying you also need to go out and buy a hamster. I’m not saying you need to tear into those bill envelopes with glee. What I’m saying is that sometimes, us grown-ups can afford to learn a lesson or two from our little humans. There is so much magic to be found in the little things, in the rainy days, and you don’t even have to look very hard to find it. So, go and get your wellies – and an umbrella, if you must – and go find the muddiest country lane you possibly can.
Once you come to terms with the fact that you’re going to get wet, you’ll enjoy it. I promise.
Until next time.