Rainboot Mindfulness

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In the span of a few months, the only full priced pair of shoes I’ve ever bought Potamus, has failed. True he’s worn them threadbare, with all his tromping and climbing and sliding. But I wasn’t prepared for the rain boot replacement, and then I showed up to school today and the gash in the side of the boot (that I had, perhaps, frugally thought I would repair with a big swatch of duct tape), and a ripped strap, and just general disrepair. And I realized, “dang, it’s time to replace these boots.” As it so happens, we live in Seattle, and it’s January, and it’s…RAINING.

Thank goodness I let my students out early today, so Potamus and I headed down to Fred Meyer by our house to pick out new rain boots. He was thrilled. The whole ride there he sang a little song that went something like “rain boots, rain boots, new rain boots,” and then included things like “mommy, me, scrummy, me, house, rain boots, new rain boots.” The melody is hard to translate, but it was adorable. When we arrived at the brightly lit shelves of the toddler rain boot section, I realized…good thing I only have one kid, because a) DANG THESE ARE EXPENSIVE and b) DANG THIS TAKES FOREVER.

I squatted down, frantically looking for a replacement size 9, which we  bought a size too big four months ago. And only finding one pattern (which he quickly rejected) we opted to try on some size 8’s that actually fit really well, but make me nervous that he’ll grow out of them in 3.4 seconds. He tried on butterfly boots “like aubrey,” and princess ones “like bella’s,” and didn’t want the sharks because they were “like madden’s,” and finally, after digging through all that rubber, he decided on the one pair of dinosaur boots that fit. Phew.

But wait!

The hemming and hawwing began again.

“They’re too big mama,” he said, which I protested because there’s no way they were too big. Too small, maybe, but definitely not too big. So we tried on the shark pair again. And then looked at the butterfly pair. He rejected the ladybug that was sorta ‘like aubrey’s’ but not exactly the same. We looked at plain red, plain yellow, you get the idea.

Oh the toddler indecision.

But after about five minutes into the haggling with my tiny, I was actually enjoying myself. I remember going to get shoes as a kid and feeling so stifled by the choices because a) I was gigantic and had gigantic feet and b) my mom was cheap on a budget, and c) there were 3 of us and we were always in a rush from one thing to another. I know that the luxury of spending 30 minutes hemming and hawwing over the perfect pair of rainboots will not be something I can do forever. But in the world of hurry up, where I’m always hustling him out the door in the darkness to school, or coming home and slamming things down to start dinner/snacks/tv show/cleanup, it felt nice to simply notice all the designs available for him to choose from.

And when he strutted out of the store, and on his own said, “thanks for buying my new rainboots,” I smiled and drank in the sweet moment that passes all too soon.

Embrace the Rain

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Okay, maybe I was a little hard on other moms in the whole bathing suit post I wrote earlier. Like maybe my point was lost, that it’s not so much about wearing a bathing suit (that was supposed to be my metaphor), it’s more about GETTING INVOLVED with your kid’s lives. It’s being in front of the camera so your kids will know that you weren’t just the photographer/bystander/witness of their life, that you were there both physically, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Yesterday it rained. I don’t mean a normal Seattle rain, where it drizzles and the ground is moist (ugh, I hate that word), but it was a DOWNPOUR. I had so much paperwork to do from my on-call day, that I kept Potamus home from daycare and we snuggled in bed until 9:45 and then he watched Wild Kratts and I did my mental health assessments for the crazy crisis counseling day I’d had the day before. It was a perfect day to stay inside, curled up on the couch watching cartoons and working from home. Even the dog was mellowed by the downpour outside.

And then, when Potamus came up for air from his Wild Kratts binge, he noticed the rain. And we were off. Puddle jumping outside in his bare feet (I barely convinced him he at least needed a coat). This kid is so his mama’s boy it’s not funny. I remember the squishy feeling of puddle jumping in bare feet…in college (yes, I went a year without shoes ya’ll), that I risked the judgment from my neighbors and let him be a little barefoot hippie rainy Seattle baby.

I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit, though Potamus probably wanted his swim trunks on. Because it wasn’t about wearing a bathing suit, it was about getting involved. Being present. Puddle jumping with my toddler, whereas a week ago I was swimming in a pool with him, because these moments count. They are the things that we grow up to remember. Like the memory of jumping fearlessly into my daddy’s arms in the swimming pool as a kid, and how on the ride home we’d sing The Muffin Man.

Wear the goddamn bathing suit. Wear the rain jacket. Or take off your shoes and jump in puddles with your barefoot hippie kid. It’s that simple. Really. The dishes will wait. The pounds may never be shed. It’s okay.

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Seattle Sports Fans

Moms and Sons

Moms and Sons

If we waited for it to stop raining, we’d never do anything fun. Because this is Seattle. And sometimes it rains. While it actually rains a lot less than other places in the country, we do have this nasty little overcast habit that usually spread from November-March. This year the wet, windy, and otherwise nasty weather has begun, and we’re experiencing record rainfall. Not just record breaking, but record SHATTERING rainfall. Fun times.

two friends. trying to look cool. I'm flashing forward to the teenage years.

two friends. trying to look cool. I’m flashing forward to the teenage years.

With five months of rainy, wet, cold, overcast, and dark days ahead, we have to be creative. And muscle through the discomfort to make memories with our kids. So today we took advantage of it being Boof’s last day working for the Mariners (hallelujah!!!!), and bundled our kiddos up and headed out to the game. Yes, we were crazy. Leaving the warm comfort of our home, watching a winning Seattle team (the Seahawks), to drive in the rain to a stadium, to sit on cold seats to watch a losing team (the Mariners). But we actually had a lot of fun, and the kids made it to the fifth inning, which felt like quite a victory!

visiting daddy Boof

visiting daddy Boof

Highlights included watching the kiddos dance to the songs, and eat the free kid sized hotdog and drink the free kid sized soda, and watch the EMT practicing a recorder (yes the instrument) in the corner of guest services. The Mariners were playing miserably, but the kids didn’t care. And we got to catch up on our mom gossip, which is the best. Because when it’s rainy and cold and miserable in life, it’s good to have mom friends to spend time with!

Potamus's dolly, and his little friend's Ninja Turtle!

Potamus’s dolly, and his little friend’s Ninja Turtle!

What activities does your family participate in rain or shine?

Halloween Turtleneck

 

Ah yes, another rainy Halloween is going to be on the books for the great folks of Seattle. Tonight we will trick-or-treat all over the drizzly city, dodging puddles and collecting candy in pillowcases or banned plastic grocery bags. But one thing you will see a lot of: the Halloween Turtleneck.Even more pervasive than Steve Jobs’ daily staple, is the Halloween Turtleneck. It really should come standard with any costume sold in the greater Pacific Northwest. Not only is this Halloween Turtleneck fashionable (although I’m doubting they will come out with a ‘sexy turtleneck’ costume by next year), it is also extremely practical. Want to wear a costume but don’t want to have it covered by a North Face jacket, or worse, a plastic rain poncho? Turtleneck.

Even now, as an adult, I can’t begin to imagine deciding on a Halloween costume that coulnd’t be accessorized with the traditional turtleneck to make it warmer.  I wish I had pictures of all my costumes as a kid, but thinking back, I cannot recollect even one outfit that wasn’t accesorized with the Halloween Turtleneck. It was much better than always going as Paddington Bear, in his yellow rain slicker.