Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet.
~ Roger Miller
It rains in Vancouver. A lot. And it goes without saying that when you live in a rainy city, like we do, and you don’t own a car, like we don’t, you’re going to get wet. A lot. This also means that your toddler is going to get wet. A lot. This is no problem for us, here at the Karen and Donners Show, but from the looks we get from people on the street, it sure is a problem for a lot of other folks.
It’s something I don’t understand. My child isn’t made of sugar, and she’s not going to melt if she gets wet. Yet time and time again, when we’re out with her in the rain—whether we have her in the stroller, canopy open and sky falling on her because she actually ruined the stroller’s plastic rain cover when trying to escape it, or we’re walking sans umbrella and she’s splashing, trying to jump in puddles and picking up sodden leaves—people give us sideways glances and their looks accuse us of being irresponsible. Of being negligent. Of being <gasp!> bad parents.
But why? She won’t catch a cold if she gets wet. Trust me, we’re still very afraid of Nyana catching a cold, and wouldn’t let her do anything that would promote one. So what’s the worst that’ll happen? She’ll get wet. Her hands will get cold and her shoes will have to sit on the heater to dry. She’ll get dirty and need a bath and her pants will need the laundry. Sure, that’s a pain. But what’s the best that’ll happen? She’ll grow up with wonderful memories of rain on her face, her feet in puddles, mud on her shoes. She’ll come to think of a good rain as comforting and cathartic, same as her mum does, and might find herself a grown woman, still jumping in puddles when she needs to put a smile on her face. And hopefully she’ll grow up to teach her own babygirl one day that it’s OK to jump in puddles, too. Because, as Tom Waits says, a little rain never hurt no one.