Little boys in the rain can turn a short walk into an epic trek

It has been raining all day. Wide puddles cover vast swathes of the roadway. The mild but unrelenting rain creates countless miniature geysers casting a myriad of ripples across each shallow pool. Gushing rivulets stream down the steep hill that runs by my house, washing away the layer of sand that has accumulated on the road over the course of an icy winter.

It is nice to feel Spring’s gentle approach. It is still cold out, but much less so than even a few days ago. My wife and I need to take a hike down to the corner store to withdraw some funds from the ATM. We decide to walk down despite the rain. It will be good to stretch our legs and get a little exercise. Besides, it is less than five minutes away by foot.

We dress our child up in his rain jacket, hitherto confined to the closet for an excessively long winter. It is my son’s favorite article of clothing after his rubber boots. Together, they create a fearless little beast who craves nothing more than intense hydrologic experimentation.

We are usually spared much of these effects, as he usually gives up on walking a minute or so after having cleared the driveway.Today is different. This morning, he decided to follow along for a long walk, tromping along for orders of magnitude more time than is his habit before asking to be picked up. It was overcast but not raining at that time, so he assiduously followed along. His little legs were apparently fully recovered from his hike this evening for our walk, so he decided to hoof it with us.

The second walk is different. There is so much water to explore. It is everywhere. Better still, it’s falling from the sky, making the puddles dance and grow, and feeding the small rivers pouring down the hills. Magical!

And so, our five minute walk stretches out into ten, fifteen, twenty. The toddler stops at every puddle to inspect it, squat down, shuffle his feet, and splash. He turns around and runs back to a previously explored puddle to ensure that it is still as he left it. He sometimes even runs to spots that are covered in a mere sheen of water and vigorously attempts to create a splash. A true explorer and experimenter.

We all made it back soggy and a little cold, but in high spirits. The expedition to the corner was worthwhile.


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