Yesterday I was watching a video of a little boy splashing in water puddles. It brought back memories of my childhood when I loved to play in the rain and splash in puddles. My mom would yell at me and tell me to dry off before I caught a cold. It wasn’t even cold. I promised myself that if I ever had children, I would encourage them to play in the rain.
Many years and many puddles later, I had two little girls. When it would rain gently in the spring they would pull on their bathing suits and rubber galoshes. I would tie a towel around their neck for a cape and then tape their wrists and forehead with masking tape. They ran around outside and played Wonder Woman. Why did they do this, you ask? Because I couldn’t! I couldn’t dress up like this; the neighbors would think I had gone entirely nuts.
I have to confess that my children acted out a lot of my play fantasies in their day. They finger painted, made mud pies, played in traffic (just kidding) and many other wonderful things that I never got to do. I made them these little stilts out of 5 pound coffee cans. They had ropes attached to hold onto. I kept them in the trunk of my car and we got them out when we went to the park.
And did we go to the park? Some weekends we would drive for an hour just to play on a certain playground we had heard of. If you ever get to Rockford, Illinois, Discovery Center has a great playground. There used to be another one at the corner of Guilford and Mulford but they moved it and I never did find out where to.
Also in the trunk of my car were baseball gloves and balls, a football and one of those fun balls that you can sit on and jump up and down. (Of course, it was too small for me to play on.) The girls had sit and spins. We called them sit and sins. I loved to sit and spin. It was such a blast.
I also remember this one time I took the girls to the garden. We were all in our bathing suits and no shoes. It had rained and the ground was quite muddy. They sat on the outer part of the parameter. I walked into the garden mud and started to squish it between my toes. “Gross,” one of them said.
Oh no, you don’t. I picked up two handfuls and put them on their legs. I started to spread it all over and Jess stared crying. I explained that it was just mud and we were going to make mud pies. Being the chow hound that she was I think she was intrigued by the thought of pie. And so I taught my girls to make mud pies. We got covered from head to toe with mud and it was fabulous. We hosed off with the garden hose before going inside to bathe.
I want to publicly thank my girls for helping me out. I didn’t get enough play time in when I was a child and so I lived some vicariously through their lives. Think I feel guilty about it? Not on your life.
And you know, I may just dress up as Wonder Woman for the first spring rain.
Me dressed as a pirate. This photo appeared in the Rockford Register Star. Talk about embarrassed!