The look of a child when they see that puddle just waiting to be “stomped” in! It doesn’t matter what nice Easter dress or little suit they are wearing, what matters is that puddle! It never fails when I see the sight of a child running with anticipation to enjoy the puddle, I am taken back to be reminded of lessons I have learned along this journey. If you have ever watched a puddle jumping child you have seen the exhilaration and JOY on their face. The innocence of being in the moment and enjoying!
I remember to this day a big puddle that always gathered along the sidewalk of my elementary school. The pavement was slanted so it made for an even bigger pool of water! One day after school I couldn’t resist any longer, I ran and stomped as hard as I could and remember belly laughing thinking of nothing else but “this is FUN!” But what I remember even more was my Mom’s reaction when she picked me up (shortly after the big puddle jump!) As I got into the car (looking quite a mess) her reaction was so sweet. She didn’t get mad at me, she wasn’t getting on to me about the outfit she was going to have to work at to get clean again….she just smiled and said “You found the puddle didn’t you Lisa?” and she smiled. She didn’t have to say anything else. That kind of smile was a smile that said it all. I am sure she wasn’t thrilled to have mud in the car, and an outfit that was muddy, but her joy and love for me trumped the bottle of tide she would have to use to get my outfit clean again.
We would have conversations toward the end of her life’s journey. And one day we talked about puddle jumping. Her view on it was “Life is short, jump a few puddles!” She never wanted me to lose the innocence I had as a child to enjoy life. Savor the moments like those children who ran to that puddle with such anticipation! I think that’s why she so enjoyed the fun times we had in the chemotherapy treatment centers when we would bring party hats, sing songs, belly laugh with others getting treatment and wear funny costumes! At the beginning of treatment her comment would be “let’s go jump a few puddles!” Her meaning?….let’s enjoy this! No matter what we are facing….lets give it our all! Chemo? Let’s make it a party! Bad diagnosis to a test? Have the doctor give me the news wearing the funniest party hat you can find! An especially tough day with side effects? Wear your chicken suit! These days were not easy….but we made them fun. We became expert puddle jumpers and I had the best leader there was.
As I took my morning run this morning, there it was. The biggest puddle in the middle of the sidewalk. I could just hear my Mom saying “Jump a few puddles Lisa!” So I did. I ran the rest of the run soaking wet but didn’t mind. I know Mom was smiling down from heaven saying “Lisa, you found the puddle didn’t you…..good girl!”
May we all savor the seconds and cherish every moment in life. Jump a few puddles and make some great memories today! You will be glad you did!