Let them dance in the rain
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south jersey kids rainy days cherry hill new jersey childhood memories dance in the rain
Living in South Jersey, I’m sure you know that the saying “April showers bring May flowers” is especially true. Here in Cherry Hill, we’ve seen a ton of rain (and even tornados!) during the month of April and it seems like we’re finally getting a peek into the color that May will bring. You know what, though, before these rainy days turn into gorgeous days full of sunshine and higher temps, we need to embrace those rainy days. Yep, I said “embrace the rainy days.” Whaaaaa?! Rainy days are the worst! Your clothes get soaking wet, the hair that you took an extra bit of time to style that morning turns into a horrendous mess, and….just ugh, ick, gross! I agree that days filled with sunshine usually trump those with torrential downpours, but stay with me for a second or two.
For whatever reason, I don’t remember much of my childhood (another story for another time). What I do remember, though, is playing outside. My brother and I grew up in a house on a cul-de-sac, within walking distance to our elementary school. We didn’t have any major roads to cross to get to multiple playgrounds and, having had the freedom of being an 80s baby growing up in the 90s, that was pretty darn awesome. On weekends when we had nice weather, we’d pack our lunches in the morning, and then head out to roam the neighborhood for the day. Sometimes it was just the two of us, sometimes friends joined us, but we’d walk all around the neighborhood. We’d spend some time at the playground by the school and we’d usually climb the big tree by the school entrance. We’d walk into the nearby woods in a quest to find the “forest people” that were rumored to live amongst the trees. (We never found them! The mom I am today is very happy about that, but the child version of me was pretty disappointed.) We’d make sure to be home around dinner time, but, for the most part, we spent the majority of the day outside as long as it was a nice day. south jersey kids rainy days cherry hill new jersey childhood memories dance in the rain
Well, I remember one day in-particular that did not have such great weather. It was pretty warm outside, but the sky was gray and the rain was coming down HARD. For whatever reason, I asked my mom if I could put my bathing suit on and go out in the rain. For whatever reason, she said ‘YES’!!! (Right? I was surprised, too). I ran up the stairs and put my bathing suit on faster than I ever had in my life! My crazy idea had been successful! I went back downstairs, opened up the front door, and walked outside into the rain wearing nothing but my bathing suit.
You guys, it was the most amazing feeling. The air was still warm, but the rain was cool. I ran and danced all over the street (remember, cul-de-sac, so there was little to no traffic) completely oblivious to the fact that I probably had neighbors looking out their windows wondering what the heck I was doing. It was wonderful. It felt so freeing to be running around in the rain without a care in the world. Everyone else was inside their home, but I was outside enjoying myself. Who would’ve thought running around in the pouring rain could make a kid so happy? This was legitimately one of the best memories of my childhood. south jersey kids rainy days cherry hill new jersey childhood memories dance in the rain
Fast forward a number of years…like, a lot of years. About 2 years ago, the kids and I were at home. It was spring or early summer time and it was POURING outside. Like, buckets and buckets of water. The boys were bummed because the sun was not shining and we couldn’t go outside. Or, could we? I helped them get their bathing suits on and, remembering one of my favorite childhood memories, took my babies outside to dance in the rain. They were able to splash in all those puddles we usually tell our kids to avoid. They didn’t have to worry about walking under an umbrella. They were able to enjoy mother nature. They could be KIDS. They had a blast!
You guys! What’s the point of my story? Get the heck outside and let your kids enjoy ALL the moments! I mean, use some common sense, too – like, don’t go dancing outside when there’s a tornado, hurricane, thunderstorm, and don’t go on busy streets, etc. but there is absolutely no harm done in letting the kids get soaking wet in the rain. Clothes can be washed and dried. Bodies can be bathed. If the kids get dirty or wet from dancing in the rain, that’s OK! All that is only temporary. What’ll be permanent, though, are the memories that are being made. In this world where we have to worry about so many potentially horrible things happening to our kids, (it seriously makes me ill thinking about everything) I encourage you to let them have these moments.
Ever since that one day, whenever it is raining outside, the boys ask if they can dance in the rain. As long as it’s not freezing outside or dangerous, I let them. They don’t care about neighbors seeing them. They don’t care about getting soaking wet. They are experiencing the innocence of childhood. And, parents, I’m just saying…I’m sure the kids wouldn’t mind if you joined them dancing in the rain.
What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?