I consider myself a fairly laid back parent. Although I try really hard not to sweat the small stuff, I have been known to avoid giving my toddler foods that have an unfavorable mess-to-satisfaction ratio, or help him eat slippery foods with his spoon to keep his lap clean although I know he can do it himself, or stealthily march him around big puddles in the parking lot so as not to get too wet or dirty while we run errands.
Over the weekend, I had a moment of parental clarity. Luke and I had just finished a family photo session and we were dressed in some of our nicest clothes. We decided to play on the playground and then take a short hike to enjoy the lovely October weather.
All of the sudden, out of nowhere, it appeared: the most inviting puddle I’ve ever seen. Luke and I looked at each other, then my boy tiptoed over to the edge, toy car in hand. He dipped his fingers into the cool water, looked at me, back at the water, then back at me.
“Go ahead, Luke. Splash, splash, SPLASH!”
Luke didn’t need to be told twice. He charged right in and squealed with unbridled delight as the water began to fly in huge waves around him.
As he very quickly soaked the lower half of his body, it hit me: this is it. This is one of the memories I will think back on when Luke is grown and living a life of his own. This is the boy I will see when he is taller and (thinks) he is smarter than his parents.
I snapped a bazillion photos with my camera, as I usually do, and burned the image of my soaking wet, almost two year old onto my momma heart.
From now on, instead of avoiding them, I will target more puddles.