It rained for three days. Then there was a huge (as in 6 inches deep huge) puddle in front of our house by the road. On Monday afternoon, on the way to get Ethan from the bus stop, Benji looked longingly at it. I took about 3 seconds to think about and decided the mess would be worth it. "Benji, go stomp in that puddle!"I said, and he did.
The bus arrived, and Ethan got off. I encouraged Ethan to play it in too. He put down his backpack and ran in. They kicked the water around and chased each other through the water. Fiona got heavy, so I put her down next to a tiny puddle on the cement. I half-smiled as her pants and socks get muddy and her diaper bulged with water.
As I watched Ethan and Benji playing so happily, I felt something strange that I wish I could feel more often. My body couldn't help a genuine smile and a sigh of happiness. I felt completely happy for a moment. The kids were experiencing bliss, and by watching them experience it, I had it too. Pure bliss.
I even called my mother and said, "The boys are playing in a giant puddle, and it reminds me of my childhood. I have so many fond memories of playing in rain water and taking a shower under the gutter with my swim suit on. I'm so glad you weren't the kind of mother who said, 'Don't play in the dirt!' 'Don't get wet!' 'You'll ruin your clothes!'" We had lots of fun as kids, and didn't feel squelched in our playtime, and I still treasure those memories today.
I have tried for a long time to see particular moments as special moments, and then savor and treasure them. And I savored this one. I sighed again, and laughed at the boys, and how could I forget who allowed this: "God, thank you for this moment."
Once the laundry is clean, you can get it back, but missing a chance to create memories and have real fun ... ya can't get that back.
So, here's to lots more chances to savor sweet moments with our kids while they create a fond memory.
If you have a particular memory of your childhood that you treasure, or if you've recently created a new one, share it.