Yesterday it started raining in the evening. Neither of us had taken a walk, so I asked wife if she would join me for a stroll with our eight-month-old daughter, Macy, despite the rain. When I opened the door to get the umbrella from the car, I realized the rainfall was heavy and almost epic.
A refreshingly strong rain on a warm spring day? A walk wouldn’t work, but this seemed too good to waste.
I thought it was just a light rain, but this called my bluff. Thoughts of propriety flashed through my mind. I thought about how inconvenient it would be to get wet. To be annoyed by holding up an umbrella. To get my shoes and socks wet. To have to talk over the rain.
What if we both get soaked? What if daughter doesn’t like it? Or worse, what if she gets sick because I took her outside when it wasn’t wise?
What if our neighbors see us and think we’re ridiculous?
It was as if everything fun about the situation was murdered by everything rational. It was sad.
I felt old and serious, much too serious to enjoy playing in the rain. How childish!
But this last one was the exact thought which flipped the whole situation on its head. It was absolutely childish. And fun. And interesting. And a great experience to enjoy with my daughter.
There was a memory to be made. If the rational side of me won this discussion, though, the memory would be lost forever.
This was the moment I had to abandon — and thereby conquer — pride.
I quickly grabbed daughter and held her tight as we walked out right into a memorable experience together.
As large rain drops hit her head and arms, daughter first gave a look of pure shock mixed with fear. Then any fear she had melted away into excitement as she began fully enjoying the rain in every direction around us. We were both soaked in no time, but that was the entire point.
I trudged through big puddles with her in my arms, soaking in every moment. Wife grabbed her camera to capture the experience, as she does so well. Even our neighbors, two brothers around sixty years old, came out in the rain to see Macy and get her to smile, all while getting soaked themselves. Then they joined us walking around in the puddles.
It felt wonderful. Even though daughter was drenched. Even though I was wet and it was annoyingly difficult to remove my shirt. Even though my feet and sandals were dirty. Even though wife had to do laundry.
And the pride that tried to force me to back down and stay inside like a rational adult? It was nowhere to be found.
Results like this await you, but only when you let the child conquer the adult.
Which wins more in your life — the adventurous child or the rational adult? What are the consequences, good or bad?