have always been an outdoors kind of person. When I was in the second grade my family moved from Yakima to Lynnwood. I had been used to the weather in Eastern Washington -- no matter if it was cold or hot we had lots dry outdoor time. I was not used to days and days of rain. I was surprised when I realized that children could play outside in the rain! Once I realized I could play in the rain I was outside all the time.
My sons had lots of outdoor rain adventures growing up. One of my favorite memories is of our annual camping trips to Mt. Rainier. We went with our family friends every year. Back in the ancient days you had to go up to the mountain to see if there were any camping spots available -- no reservations were taken. Every other year we would be the ones to go up on a Thursday to try and secure two camping spots. This particular year it was pouring rain! We got up there and found two side-by-side camping spots and started to set up camp. It was raining so hard we could not even start a fire. As Curt and I set up the tent I realized the boys were off in the woods collecting pieces of bark from the cedar trees in the area. I wasn't sure what they were doing until they started setting up a gutter system around the perimeter of the tarps we had hung over our tent and the picnic table. It was a great gutter system that sent the water away from the tarps and kept the area under the tarps completely dry.
We tried again to start a fire and finally gave up. Soaking wet we drove up to Paradise Lodge and stood in front of the huge fireplace eating a bowl of chili we bought at the little cafe. Warm, and full, we drove back to the campsite and fell asleep listening to the rain hitting the tarp over our tent. The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunny morning. I was glad it was sunny but was happy we had such a fun time in the rain. When our friends arrived the boys were eager to show them the gutter system and tell them all about our rain adventure. I must admit that I preferred a day hiking in the sunshine to a day of hiking in the rain but I know we would have had a great time no matter what the weather.
I hope you have a chance to get outside and create your own rain memories. One of the preschool parents sent me a note and thanked me for introducing her to the concept of playing outside in the rain. She had the same realization I had had as a child -- children can play in the rain! She sent me a note, laughing that they had the whole playground to themselves!
A few years ago when I was talking to my sister-in-law in California I could hear her son in the background. I asked why he was home and not on his Boy Scout camping trip. "Oh, they came home because it was raining." (I knew that his soccer games are cancelled if it rains and children are not let outside for recess on raining days because it it is wet and slippery on the playground) but I was definitely surprised that the Boy Scouts would call a camping trip due to rain. I laughed and told her that if we didn't go camping in the rain (or play soccer, go to a park, ride our bikes) we would never go places at all!
I have so many fun memories of being outside in the rain. I miss those days outside with the boys. I am so glad that Danielle and Joel take Zoe and Ansel outside in the rain and invite us to join them on evening Rain Walks ..fun fun fun!