On a rainy day, I often see my mom friends asking where to take their kids to escape the rain. Indoor playgrounds are especially popular as well as mall play areas. As Southern Californians, we have a tendency to think a rainy day is a day wasted. A day stuck inside, with kids climbing the walls. We all avoid the roads if we can since no one knows how to drive in it, and on the news, you’ll see them acting as if the sky is falling.
When I first moved to California from Philadelphia it would give me the giggles to see them on the news. A weather person would be outside with an umbrella and galoshes acting like it was a national emergency.
I’M HERE ON SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD AND IT’S BEEN RAINING FOR TWO WHOLE HOURS.
It’s now been raining for 3 days and an unusually wet winter, so this can be rough on families with small children. But I’m here to tell you that a rainy day can be the best! When it rains I think it can teach our kids a valuable lesson, that life doesn’t have to stop just because things aren’t ideal.
I’m not going to pretend that I LOVE the rain. I don’t like being wet or muddy, and I really struggle with chronic pain (I have fibromyalgia) when it rains. But I think teaching our kids to be resilient is incredibly important. I don’t automatically give up when I hurt. I certainly don’t want my daughter to think when things are hard or not ideal conditions we should just give in and do something else.
I think teaching our kids to be resilient is incredibly important.
So on rainy days, we don’t stay inside. In fact, we play outside possibly even more than on sunny ones. We gear up in our raincoats and boots. I load up on Advil because of the aches I’ll get from being chilled and the barometric pressure changing then we head outside. She splashes in puddles and I stop thinking quite so hard about all the things I’ve got to get done. I know I’m not the only one with an ever-growing list running through my mind.
If there is one thing that stops me in my tracks every time it’s the pure joy she gets out of the simplest things in life. When you think about it, how many times our children have even seen rain in their lives? It’s probably not many. My daughter is two, that means two winters of rain. Last year we had very little. She’s seen rain maybe 10 times? It’s exciting! Water falling from the sky and forming tiny lakes as far as the eye can see! She jumps and laughs and squeals with delight. Mud puddles and joy is all I experience in that moment.
Afterward, she is tired and happy and we are both content. She takes a longer nap than usual and I curl up with a book or Netflix, a heating pad and some tea. She learns that life can be joyful even when it’s different from the usual, even when it’s messy and dark. And I learn to slow down, think less and breathe. Can you imagine anything that could be better than that?