Sep 23, 2016

Rainy Days

My missionary son has been on my mind a lot this past week, and it was because of him that I decided to go out for my morning exercise even in the heavy rain.  Running in the rain is Jared's favorite thing to do, so I braved the storm and endured the wet shoes for him.

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Jared has always loved water.  Playing in it, splashing in it, swimming in it, since he was a baby he has loved it.  Give him a little bit of water and he could entertain himself forever.  I remember being at a family reunion when the skies opened and we were all dashing for cover.  Not Jared.  He was not quite two and he would not come inside.  He splashed in puddles and only came inside once he started to get chilled.  Right after he turned 3, we went to Disneyland, and even though it was a cool spring day in Sunny California, he got "to-tal-lee" wet in what used to be called Cosmic Waves. (In both of these instances his well-prepared mother did not have a change of clothes for him. Oops!)  He called himself Splashy Man in the tub, because splashing was his favorite thing.

 As he got older his love of rain and splashing around in it didn't really change.  He could often be found outside in the middle of a storm enjoying the rain.  Even in high school one day we got a crazy thunder storm he was outside in it.  When he came back in he was wetter than normal, and I asked him what he had done.  He informed me that he had laid down in the gutter because there was so much water rushing through them.
As I was walking today with my umbrella, and trying to avoid the puddles that over an inch of rain had brought, I wondered if Jared would dodge the puddles or if he would still splash through them the way he used to.  Will he still love the rain, and run in it (without an umbrella), or will the inhibitions and fears and practicality of being an adult spoil the simple pleasures in his life too?  I remember a time in college, when a certain young man had asked me to go for a walk with him, but when he came to pick me up it started to downpour.  We decided to go anyway, without umbrellas, and that just might have been the first time he held my hand.  It is one of my favorite memories.  Would we still do it today?  Probably not...So for Jared this morning, the next puddle I came to I went right through the puddle.  As I felt the cold water seep in between my toes and listened to the squishy sound that my foot made as I continued, I tried to remember how it felt to just let go and enjoy the rain.