The Unexpected Joy of a Very Big Puddle

#6 in Reflections of Life's Unexpected Joys

The Unexpected Joy of a Big Puddle


April 2007

Spring has been slow in coming this year. There were mountains of snow that simply were not leaving. And then one beautiful week the weather warmed up and there in front of our house was a big, deep puddle. It remained for one whole week. At first I tried to forbid the puddle. My children would play on the edge and I would watch like a hawk to make sure that they didn’t get too close. However, the forbidding was far too much work. The children loved the puddle. They desperately wanted to play in the puddle and what mother could possibly refuse their children such pleasure? So it didn’t take long for the kids to make themselves right at home in the wonderful puddle. I loved watching them float boats and construct bridges over the puddle. I didn’t really love watching the neighbour boy try to jump the puddle and miss the other side and land on his bottom and get wet up to his neck in the puddle. However, it is sort of funny after the fact. No doubt the neighbours all think I am a dreadfully neglectful mother because by day 2 of the puddle I had gone from forbidding the puddle to actually allowing the children to run barefoot through the puddle. Never mind that there were still patches of snow and ice all over the yard. This was a purely practical decision. It saved on laundry since their socks, shoes and rubber boots were just getting totally drenched. Why not allow bare feet?


I honestly wasn’t too happy to see the puddle when it first appeared. It attracts children. Everyone gets wet and muddy. I have to supervise so many wet children. However, I truly did derive great pleasure from watching the children have so much fun in the puddle. It occupied them for hours and hours. They didn’t get bored of the puddle. It made people smile as they walked by and they saw so many children having so much fun. I’m sure that it brought memories to mind of a time in the distant past when they themselves had stripped off socks and shoes and splashed happily in a puddle while the adults in their lives instructed them to remove themselves from the puddle.


So while I wasn’t too excited about the puddle at the beginning, I think it really did make my children’s childhood a little richer. Every child needs a good puddle in their past. I’m glad that I loosened up on the rules. No one got pneumonia and everyone has fond memories of the puddle. I’m glad it came and I’m glad that it has dried up. But, I actually look forward to seeing it again next spring. Puddles are one of life's unexpected joys.


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