According to the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine, for the month of June 2009, the state of Maine, on average, experienced 22 days of fog; 19 days of rain (5 of those classified as ‘heavy rain’), with rain fall amounts varying from 7 to 10 inches. By the end of June, many of were wondering if we needed to start gathering two of every animal! Yes boys and girls, June 2009 really was the yuckiest in recent history.
And if this wasn’t bad enough, in most small towns here in Maine, there is not much too do in the first place, even when the weather is good.
Now imagine this bleak, dismal weather pattern, add to it one (normally) well balanced 5 year old boy (Robbie) and his (normally) level-headed mother and father, and you have a formula for extreme cabin fever….in the middle of Summer!
So what’s a parent to do?
Answer: Improvise! Take the boy out and tell him to ‘make daddy proud’ by jumping in the now enormous mud puddles that have taken up permanent residence in our driveway. Daddy will take pictures, and everyone has a good time! It’s ok! Jump! Jump Robbie…jump!!!
End result? A good time for the boy; his pent up energy expended, the return of the level-headed mom and dad,, and a 5 year old who gets to have fun doing something every child (and…um…the occasional adult) should do at least once every summer: splash around freely and innocently in the puddles; “just because!”.
Now the rest of the story….
Summer finally did come around this year, and as is normally the case here in Maine, the warm weather is here and gone in a blink. Thus the reason we try to take advantage of every nice day we get. This is probably what my 5 year old was thinking one bright, sunny, warm Sunday afternoon after Church.
Some friends of ours had just stopped by to visit, and while hanging around outside in the warmth of the day, our 5 year old found one of his two dump trucks that was absolutely filled with rain water (left over from June). Reasoning that it was ‘ok by dad’ once before, it must be ‘ok’ now.
Nobody seemed to be paying much attention when our 5 year old son proceeded to dump the entire contents of his dump truck into a dusty divot in our driveway where, just a week prior, there lay a huge mud puddle that I had so encouraged him to jump in. But nobody could possibly overlook what came next: the biggest, happiest screech that only a child can make. Mud, Water and little boy dressed for Church soon became the center of attention to everyone. How can a parent be mad at a time like this? Wasn’t I who encouraged him in the first place?
Thing is…back then he was in play clothes and a rain jacket.
Today he was in his Sunday best….but such is the mind of a 5 year old.
Summers in Maine; enjoy them while you can. Even if Summer never came this year, we would always look back at these pictures with bittersweet fondness, and remember that happiness sometimes comes from the simplest of pleasures.