When my daughter was young, I made her walk around mud puddles so she would stay clean. I could see by the look on her face it was a major test of obedience. I realize now that she really, really, really wanted to jump in the puddle and experience the thrill! All I was thinking about was people will think I am a bad mother if I allow my daughter to get dirty. Years later after she became a mother of two children under six, I phoned her to see what the three of them were doing. There had been a steady, gentle rain all day. “The kids are jumping in the puddles and splashing muddy water all over each other. You should see them, mom, they are covered with mud and they are having a ball! When they finish playing, I’ll give them each a bubble bath and throw their clothes in the washer. Everyone and every-thing will be good as new.” At first, I was overcome with anxiety. Then, I realized what a wonderful thing she was letting them do; they were being allowed to be children. I also realized they were doing something she had always wanted to do, but I didn’t let her do. “What a better mother she is than I was,” I thought. She was right, the memory of a fun time cannot be washed away, but the mud can. I felt proud that she had not followed my example and let what others think influence her decision.

                Someone decided January 11 should be designated the unofficial National Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day. We do not know who this “someone” is, but it is probably someone, like my daughter, who was not allowed to do it, but all their life wanted to do it. By having an unofficial national day recognized as a day earmarked for you to play in puddles; there is no excuse to not do it. It is a day for adults to be kids again; a day to satisfy your inner child-self and give in to childish behavior. It is a day you can feel mischievous and a day, as they say, “to let your hair down and act silly.” It is age appropriate for all ages which makes it a perfect activity for all the family to do together. Rain gear and rain boots are acceptable, but they will limit the fun. How can you feel free and uninhibited with all that outerwear on your body. The best way to experience the event is to just jump in, being timid is not allowed.

                Celebrating this day might be difficult depending on where you live and what the weather is like on January 11 there. No matter what country or part of the country you live in though, you can always fill a shallow kiddie pool with water, add some dirt to make mud, and jump in with a friend or two and splash away. It’s a great way to get rid of stress!


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