little feet, silly truths

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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.

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34 thoughts on “little feet, silly truths

  1. He is so precious. Savor the messy moments. Ahhh, this brought back memories of mud puddles, worm bracelets, and pockets full of mysterious sandy objects. Beautiful post.

    • But maybe, just maybe, he’ll grow up and keep his wonderment and continue to see the world as we all were meant to see it throughout our time here. I can wish that for home even knowing how unlikely it is.

  2. Mr Jester, I read this absolutely, utterly SPELLBOUND, loving the depth and richness and beauty of those puddly, watery, explorey moments your little one’s little feet enjoyed to the absolute maximum.

    As I read, I wanted to sit down with you and tell you about Neff at the beach, who would always wear his wellington boots and always end up with the sea IN his boots, sloshing around, and the wetness creeping up his trousers because there was a set of dry clothes in the car, and no matter what I said he found it more delightful to kneel in the sea, even in his waterproof onesie, and to be changed, shivering and naked and giddy, chattering with cold, in the back of the car, laughing as I poured the trapped oceans onto the car-park floor, than to stay dry and unadventurous and without.

    AND THEN…to realise, at the very end, you wrote this stunning, evocative piece, IN RESPONSE TO A THING I SAID!!!!! My heart about grew sixteen sizes larger. THANK YOU for this most beautiful piece of storytelling. You are a true artist 😀

  3. Wonderful. 🙂 I must confess I still like to drive fast through puddles and create big sheets of water after a rain. Long live the child in us all. 😉

  4. Seriously, there are few things better in this life than stomping around in rain puddles. When I was growing up, the way the streets in our neighborhood drained, it all went towards one street… 13th Ave. We lived on one of the corners, so the street always ended up like a small river. This was back in the 70s, so there was less traffic to worry about, but we’d plain in the rain-soaked street until all the water drained away. It never got very deep — so, if the rain had been heavy, the water really rushed down the street … you could body surf (this was best done with a shirt, because you could scrape the street, which wasn’t fun). Good times, rain puddles.

    • Body surfing down the street sounds pretty awesome!
      I have some fond memories of playing in the rain too. In the desert, rain didn’t come very often but occasionally we would get dumped on, streets would flood, and shenanigans ensued.

  5. The only thing equal to jumping in puddles is jumping in piles of crisp leaves. Here in the north east of England, however, we don’t get crisp leaves – they get rained on so become soggy very quickly. So puddles it is. We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing. Long may you enjoy playing with your boy, Sir Jester!

  6. A little llate – but wishing you a very Happy Birthday. May it be filled with all your favorite things. And the upcoming year be filled with love, peace and hope. Take care – enjoy your week. 🙂

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