Yesterday, the sun came out. We had a heat wave. It-was-awesome. But we had Kindermusik so we didn't get to really spend time outside. I was worried we had missed our moment of sunshine for the month.
But today, the sun came out again!! And when the sun comes out, the temperature rises. And when the temperature rises, the snow melts! And when the snow melts, puddles form!! And when puddles form, little kids find them!
Charlie & I pulled on our rubber boots and headed out for a "puddle walk", with the specific intention to find (and jump in) as many puddles as we possibly could. It was a total success. We only had to reach the bottom of our driveway to find a huge puddle-- it must be instinct for kids to know what to do when they come to the splashing/ jumping part, for that is what he did with zero prompting from his mom.
Then, he wanted to find a muddy puddle. So we searched for mud. It didn't take long to find a muddy spot on the vacant lot close to our house.
Charlie jumped right in!
He swiveled his hips and squished into the mud. It was SO fun!
....Until it wasn't. Fresh mud + rubber boots = STUCK.
Charlie panicked and looked up at me and said, "Mommy! I'm stuck! I can't move! I'm in the mud! I'm stuck in the mud!" I felt a belly laugh bubble up inside me because of the innocence of the whole thing. And he really was stuck. Fortunately, his mother came to the rescue and was able to save him from the sticky mud.
Then we came to this "huuuuuge" puddle. So C had to go through it a few times.
And about halfway through our walk, C looks up at me and says, "I hafta go poopy!" Of course. So we hustled over to Daddy's work, C did his business, and then found the dum-dums hidden under the cash register. And because suckers trump everything, he was way more interested in rotting his teeth than splashing in more puddles.
So we leisurely walked home, hand in hand, sucker in mouth. Charlie hummed a made up song the entire way home. The sun shone, the snow melted, the birds sang, my two year old hummed. I realized: spring really IS going to happen! (Someday)
Days like today are ones I wish I could bottle. I know my happiness is partly due to just seeing the sun after so many consecutive days of snow and fog and clouds. And I'm always happier when I can spend a few minutes outside. But more than anything, I love the feeling I get when I'm truly and honestly enjoying my mommy-hood. I am loving Charlie's current age. It allows me to see the world in a whole new light. Everything is fresh and new and exciting. Everything is a wonder. Everything is a puzzle that Charlie wants to solve (and I'm supposed to have the answers). He's so inquisitive and thoughtful about everything. On our walk, we talked about why there are so many puddles-- where they came from, and where they'll go. We noticed bubbles flowing under the melting ice in the gutters and talked about what bubbles are and where they came from and where they are going. We saw a neighbor's cat-- whom was a kitten last summer but was now fully grown and we talked about how everything grows, just like babies and big boys. Today's walk is one of the activities I fantasized about before having children, and mistakenly thought that the majority of minutes spent parenting would be filled with enriching and rewarding moments like this one.
Of course, I've realized that cannot possibly be the case. Daily life is often a grind. The laundry doesn't stop, the bathrooms still need to be cleaned, beds changed, dishwasher emptied, bills paid, errands run, not to mention all the "extras" that pop up like birthday parties, meetings, play dates, "enrichment" activities, and family outings. These things, combined with my unpredictable moods and those of my child, make everything a possibility but not a guarantee. I want to provide Charlie with so much, because that is the kind of mom I think I am-- or the one I think I should be. But I finally realized that everything doesn't have to be enriching or picturesque to be rewarding. A lot comes from just being. It's more than okay to just hang out at home, or walk around the block, or run errands. And honestly, that daily grind makes the days when we do splash in puddles or make an amazing seasonal craft that much more rewarding. But regardless of whether or not it's a daily grind day or an amazing enriching activity day, I'm trying to remember to see the moment through Charlie's eyes, to remember how fresh and new and exciting this world is, and in return, I'm given my moment of reward.