Rainy days tend to mean longer, soggier walks. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: Wet and wild walks to school

“It’s so much less of a hassle to walk,” they said.

“Buy a house close to the school so you don’t have to deal with the pick-up lines,” they said.

“It’s so much less of a hassle to walk,” they said.

“It saves so much time to just send them out the door and not have to drive them,” they said.

And so we did. We bought our house close to a school — in part because of that proximity, among other factors of course.

We didn’t think twice really, for the first five years we lived there we didn’t have school-aged kids. But now that we’ve got one in Kindergarten, I think about that walk twice every day.

It was just the second full day of Kindergarten when that big rainstorm hit. Welcome to school! Don’t drown on the walk over!

Clearly “they” lived somewhere much drier than us.

The drops were huge and for several hours there in the middle of the day, the downpour was relentless. Being the super mom I apparently am at times, I sent my kid to school without a rain coat. On purpose. We were running late and my son was dragging his heels. He didn’t want to go to school at all let alone put on a coat.

To be honest, we don’t wear coats a lot. You can’t wear them in a car seat and it’s no biggie getting in and out of the car to get inside the grocery store or daycare or whatnot without one. Plus, it’s been summer. It’s been too warm for coats. It’s not a habit in our household but perhaps it should become one.

So, I sent him in his hoodie. It wasn’t raining at the time. As the day progressed and the rain fell harder, I began to feel worse and worse for my poor guy.

Trying to stay positive about the situation, I told my youngest to get her boots and Muddy Buddy when we were going to pick up her big brother. I got her all bundled into her suit and boots and then I handed her an umbrella. The smile on her face could have lit up the entire region. It instantly took me back to what mattered. She ran outside and opened her umbrella and twirled around and around.

I told her she was free to step in any puddle she wanted and that we’d left extra early for her to do just that. Let me tell you, that kid hit every single puddle. It was a joyous walk for the both of us; her wading into each puddle to gauge it’s depth and me laughing at her sudden caution.

And then I tried to put a coat on her brother. He refused. And she refused to give him her umbrella. We spent the entire walk home with him getting soggier by the second and asking for her umbrella and her not just refusing, but sobbing and screaming while she denied him a dry space.

“Buy a house close to the school,” they said. They must have been thinking about the summer months. I have a feeling walking to and from school in the winter isn’t going to be much fun.

The funny thing is, it ended up being the precursor to the highlight of our respective days. We got home and because my eldest was drenched, we went straight up to the tub to warm up. We’ve been wanting to test out our new bubble bath and it seemed like the perfect time; we had two hours with nothing to do and nowhere to be. The laughing, the bubble beards, the absence of the bedtime rush and the sweet sweet smell of my freshly bathed babies after their tub just can’t be beat.

It was almost worth a walk in the monsoon. No doubt we’ll get plenty more of those chances to walk in the rain.

But next time, I just might demand my boy wears a coat.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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