The puddle swallowed his little feet, and then exploded away as his next step was taken in earnest. The splashing wasn’t intentional but the running was. He was always running. Running from one end of the house to the other. Running down the alley behind our condo. Running from the store to the car. Running in the rain where he encountered pools of the heaven’s manna waiting patiently for him.
Then, of course, it was no longer about running, at least for a few minutes. Water gushed and spouted and pulled away from him by the combined forces of pressure and momentum. He didn’t care about the science of why jumping in the puddle caused the water to spray out in halos and arcs. He only cared that it happened and that he was in control. There are so few things in a toddler’s life they can control, he latched on to this new game, this new experience, with all of his might and enthusiasm.
Eyes wide with glee and mouth full of joyful shrieks and exclamations, time thinned while the toddler explored the cause and effect of his discovery. One foot at a time. Both feet together. Running through. Walking through. Stopping in the middle. Jumping into the middle. Jumping on the edge. Twirling around. Behind those shimmering pupils, I could see his mind capturing it all and storing it away for further contemplation later when he would have time because he was no longer fully engrossed in the here and now. And, of course, I laughed along with him, joined my voice with his in a chorus of giggles and guffaws. The laugh of a child would always be the paramount of compulsory contagions.
Clothes, unprepared for the onslaught, were drenched in no time. After a while, equal amounts of water dripped from dangling sleeves and bent knees as was sent cascading around him with each new foray into the puddle. The wetness would eventually be the cause of the game’s end, in the forms of coldness and discomfort, but until then the grin would never waver on his eager face. Just as I couldn’t help but join him in laughter, he was powerless to resist the demanding call of adventure.
Even if he could have, why would he have wanted to? Children are built to learn and discover through such bouts of messy frivolity. They know this simple truth in their bones.
This post was written for Lizzi. I accepted the challenge to write beautifully without pouring my blood across the page, sharing something worth sharing, worth reading, that wasn’t about pain or loss. As she says in her posts, which you really should read, those types of words are compelling and worth reading, but we should also remember to share our happy moments and our silly truths from time to time as well.