Gene Kelly, You Have 3 Seconds to Get Out of That Puddle!

Spring finally opened its sleepy eyes, tossed off the covers of winter, and greeted the dawn with the vim and vigor of a child.  I, on the other hand, leisurely turned up the electric blanket, cranked up the heat, and buried myself under the afghan.  I then noted that the afghan, a frightening clash of avocado-green and rust-orange from the 1970s, could not compete with the explosion of gorgeous colors that spring would soon reveal.  It’s just that in New England, spring might as well start in May.  March 19th is frigid, and March 20th is usually…one degree warmer than frigid. 

Keep in mind that I am a woman and a beach-lover, so by default I need a sweater when the temperature dips below 80. Still, after the coldest winter on record, our family decided to take a walk and enjoy the balmy forty degree breezes.

When the snow melts, you basically get a springtime mess which poet e.e. cummings romantically refers to as “mud-lucious and puddle wonderful.” Given his blatant disregard for punctuation and the difficulties of removing mud stains, I’m guessing he didn’t have children. 

I have always loved Singing in the Rain, but with some reservation. On the one hand, I admire Gene Kelly’s youthful romp through the deep puddles.  But the mother inside of me wants to scream, “Don’t go in those puddles, you fool!  You’ll get soaked!”  No matter how loudly I protest, every time he just ignores me and splashes anyway.  Hmm, just like my children.

During our walk, we had to avoid not only knee-deep puddles, but also mud holes, scary dogs, whizzing traffic, and a plethora of other landmines for small children. My husband Dave has an ability to walk fearlessly without a worry in the world.  He was breathing in the fresh air, admiring the scenery, and commenting on the vernal beauty.  Meanwhile, I apparently worked for the secret service, watching for potential threats and completely tuning out most of my surroundings.  Consequently, we were able to have almost simultaneous conversations that were not even remotely related. 

Dave:  What a beautiful day.  Cara:  Nate, don’t put that in your mouth!

Dave:  Look!  A crocus!  Cara:  Watch out for the dog poop!

Dave:  That breeze feels so good. Cara:  Luke, Get off of there or you’ll crack your head open like a nut!

Dave:  Let’s go look at the boats. Cara:  Car coming! Get out of the street NOW!

When I finally heard myself, I realized how ridiculous I sounded. I wish I could just relax and not always hear the words of my former boss when I told him I was expecting our first child.  Congratulations, kid.  You will now worry every day for the rest of your life. 

Why is it that whenever we return from a walk with our children, I feel as though I just survived a WWII blitz?  I know I’m supposed to just relax and join Gene Kelly in that puddle of fun.  But I think instead  I’ll head back under my green and orange afghan where it’s safe and warm.

 

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