This has seriously been the rainiest summer I've ever remembered. I love rain, but when it's everyday, my mind starts to wander back to the longing for sunny times and the smell of coconut from my sunscreen. Wishing the soppy mush of mud and humidity away won't make it disappear so, we've tried to make the best out of it. If we can't go swimming, then why not plan on making a different kind of outing and mess? Any time we get one of those crazy summer showers and the kids are awake, I grab a couple of towels, open the door and out we go. They love it. I love it. Yeah, we track mud and water in the house, but better to clean up a happy mess than a depressed mess right? It's my rainy summer policy.
I came to this decision, after being cooped up inside for 3 weeks straight. I was buried in projects, planning new things, keeping my small souls fed and happy. The gray gloom of rainstorms wasn't helping. I was starting to feel like I was becoming the stress I was creating for myself. Not really "stress" but, when the enjoyment of something is replaced by obligation, it's the breeding ground of stress for me. That usually happens when I put too much on my plate, thinking I can somehow do it all without any real system of managing my time. I was just the next mess of dried banana I had to scrape off of the floor, those 5 batches of photos I still need to edit, the new blog design that needs to be finished, the logo I have to decide on, the 15 tattoo commissions I need to respond to...oh and planning birthdays, vacations and launch dates for upcoming ventures. Whoa. Stop. Slow down. I have to feel alive. I can't be a passionless machine that resents the things (or people) I'm passionate about. It overwhelmed me like a wave, all at once. I looked out my window. It was pouring rain. I let myself just feel. I was all of a sudden running out my front door. Within 30 seconds, I was drenched. And, it was amazing. I walked down our street, and with every raindrop and wipe of my eyes, (who cares if my mascara is all over the place?) I could feel the color coming back into my soul. It was my reset button.
When the down pour turned into light sprinkles, Sam came out with the kids and we just played. Puddles became our magical ponds, leaves became boats to sail and everything was a new. The mushy feel of the grass and the smell of warm wet concrete was better than any anthropologie candle. Thus began my summer policy of playing in the rain. It's spontaneous, and we make it an adventure.
I was a spontaneous nut all the time, before children. Why not now? I always pictured my kids jumping in puddles and making mud pies, before I had them. But, I find myself pulling away from the messy spontaneity of moments like that so often because of the clean up, the aftermath, the inconvenience. I kind of woke up to the fact that schedules and the easy of the predictable and manageable was in a way, running my show and smooshing who I am as a person and a mother. Isn't motherhood just an extension of who we are? Why change so much, just for the sake of what's expected or because I'm tired? I'm going to be tired for the next 20 or so years! I'm not throwing my system and schedules to the wind, but definitely not letting them control who I am as a fellow life adventurer with my boys.
Life is so short. There are so many puddles waiting to be muddied by tiny toes and, one thousand giggles waiting to set free from my little boys' souls. I'm making it my mission to not let one of those laughs be forgotten in the name of structure or order.
Cheers to enjoying.