What Do a Trampoline, a Very Old Iphone, and a Rainstorm Have in Common?
It’s all about being a kid.
So the other day, my youngest kid took her iphone outside to the trampoline. Now, this isn’t technically her phone. It is an iphone 4, meaning it is approaching its seventh birthday. That is near death in terms of phone technology.
She has this phone for one reason: music. The phone does not have sim card in it and the wifi is disabled. Basically, it can only play the music that her mom or I download to it. Right now, it constantly plays the soundtrack from “Hamilton.”
So a preteen with music on a cracked and basically non-functioning iphone jumping on a trampoline is normal at my house. She gets fresh air, exercise, some independence, good music, and hey, maybe she’s even learning something about the founding fathers.
Well, on this particular day, she’s been out there for ten or fifteen minutes. Then the expected storm arrives. Clouds darken the sky, trees start to sway, and flags snap to in the wind.
At about the time the rains starts to fall, my wife turns to me and asks if our daughter has come inside. As the rain strengthens, we holler her name and roam about the house.
“I’ll go check outside … on the trampoline,” I say, knowing that she won’t be there. I mean, it’s raining, right? Who doesn’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain?
Well, she’s out there, on the trampoline, in the rain. She did stop once, but only to try and turn up the volume on the phone because the rain was loud. I didn’t immediately yell out to have her come inside. I watched her, while she was doing her thing. On the trampoline. In the rain.
Being a kid.
Just so we’re clear, that three sentence paragraph is the important one here.
Now, just so I don’t get calls of being a bad parent or anything, this was not a thunderstorm. There wasn’t any lightning or tornadoes swirling about. It was your average spring rain shower. And my kid was being a kid, doing her thing, in the rain.
I forgot about that. The “being a kid” part of childhood. I mean, I’m a long way from that, despite some of my childish behavior (ask my wife). Yet here was a stark reminder of it.
So this is the part where I regale you with homespun stories of my childhood spent running free of supervision like Huck Finn and I turned out fine so why can’t we do that with our kids today? section.
Yeah, no, I won’t bore you with that. It happened, you know it did, and the world has changed. Moving on.
The point is not to reminisce, but to remember to let kids be kids. Playing in the rain is a kid thing to do. I didn’t care if the phone got soaked and shorted out. I didn’t care if she was sopping wet and would need three towels at the doorway to keep from dripping buckets of water all over the house. She was a kid playing the rain, and I let her.
Next time we get a nice shower, I’ll toss her out from behind the computer to play in the rain again.