The First Stomp Of The Season

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The rainy season only comes once a year, you know. For us here in west central Texas, that season is now. The water in the pot slowly starts to simmer in mid May, by June we come to a rolling boil, and by July the overflow has fallen to the stove top and started to sizzle.

On a recent trip to the Airman's Attic, we hit the thrifting jackpot. A pair of pink rain boots, just Eleanore's size. Maybe a little too big, which is perfect for growing, one boot missing its decorative shoelace, waiting to be loved again. Sold.

After our first big rainfall of the season, as soon as the clouds started to rest, I rushed the babies into good morning outfits, and shuffled them outside. Just as Eleanore was heading for her tennys, I called out "no sweetie, grab your rain boots".

You should have seen the look on her face.
Rain boots can only mean one thing.

She frantically pushed her feet between the rubber openings, trying to avoid her frustration for those pesky pant legs getting in the way. After I strapped Brother into his PediPeds, I reached my arm over to grab her crumpled up denim, and neatly tucked it into her boots.

"Well, lets go, those puddles aren't going to wait around for us all day"!

After strapping a curious Charlie into the stroller, and going over the "when a car comes this is what we do" rules with Eleanore, down the street we romped, with frequent shouts of "slow down and wait for us" reaching out to hold her back as she raced towards the big puddle by the stop sign at the end of the street.

Trying to run in rain boots a size too big, isn't easy. I have to give the girl credit for that.

Looking so much more grown up than she did last year, she whirled her body around and around, heaving all of her weight into the deepest parts of every puddle she could focus her eyes on. I don't think I've ever seen her happier.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and thanked God for everything that my family is blessed with. Days like these are few and far between, where everything is miraculously perfect.

There she stood, with her hair blowing in the wind and her chest working extra hard to catch the breath that the rain waters were making her work so hard for. Charlie sat quietly in his seat, kicking his feet strongly against the plastic on the foot rest, his eyes asking "my turn now?". I watched for cars, listened for thunder, and snapped pictures after picture- hoping to stretch the memories from one mid morning puddle stomping trip, through a lifetime.

Dance baby, dance!

And I caught her laughter in her reflection. Do you see it?

As traffic started to pick up, I told the babies we'd have to head home for lunch. Just as we started walking back towards Indiana, down the street came a maroon colored van. Daddy.

Our house was just around the corner, so after double checking both ways (she'd only be going 20 mph anyways), I shewed Eleanore up into the passanger seat to drive home with Christopher. This gave Charlie and I some one on one time, even though he chose to spend every minute of it calling out for his Daddy.

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, Daddy scooped him out of his seat, showered him with the affection that he was showing to be so desperately needy for, and inside we went for lunch, with promises of more puddle stomping in the afternoon, so long as the puddles didn't all run away while we were eating our hummus.

Well I held true to my word.

As soon as all plates were cleared, all toys were picked up, and all attitudes and grumpyness was bagged up and thrown away- back out again we went.


We stomped for what seemed like ever. By this time, the only puddles left were quite a ways away, and just so happened to be lining the main street. I parked Charlie a few feet away on the sidewalk, facing us, and went to stand in the street, so that Eleanore was sandwiched in between me and her brother. Every car that came along thought we were waiting to cross the street, even though we were clearly very busy, so I spent most of my time repeating "stay out of the street, see the car" to Eleanore, and waving my hands behind me like a crossing guard.

Water was shooting up from the concrete like rockets. Her squeals got louder with every jump. Her face got muddy, her pants soaked, and with as much pressure as she could force out of her body- she caused tsunami after tsunami.

And with puddle stomping, comes bubbles. Perfect little half circles floating on top of the muddy waters. Just as she reached for this one, it popped.

After minutes upon hours of stomping, energy levels started to slow. Eleanore started to get tuckered out.

"One more run through the stream", I told her, "and then we're heading back home".

Charlie followed her last hurrah, his eyes locked on her boots every second of the way. I could see the jealousy steaming out of his ears. I leaned down next to him and told him that next year, he'd be able to puddle stomp too. Not that this made him feel any better, he doesn't even understand the concept of tomorrow, but someday he'll have his turn. His day is coming.

I could hear the sloshing inside of Eleanore's boots, as her steps slowed and came to a stop in front of me. Filled with water, it would surely be a long walk home. It was worth it though, right?

All good things must come to an end. So until next time, spring puddles.
Until next time...


The Paper Mama May 18, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

Wow, beautiful photos! I love the story along with it too. Sounds like a wonderful day!

CourtneyKeb May 18, 2010 at 2:27 PM  

This post made me feel so warm and fuzzy.
I love how Charlie always seems so chill. He's around the same age as my daughter, and she can't sit in a stroller or well... really sit at all for more than 3 minutes. Honest.

I think the sweetest part is that Eleanore will always have a special place in her heart for puddles.

Bombdigity May 18, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

this brought tears to my eyes, in a good way! I remember those days, mine & my younger brother as well as my son ... one day your kids will thank you for capturing all of these awesome moments

considerthelillies May 18, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

your kids are gorgeous! Your post makes me want to stomp in puddles for fun!

Jenny Bunny May 18, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

Aww. This was a great post. I couldn't think of a comment to even do it justice.

Colleen May 18, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

Such a wonderful post and amazing photos!

Chana May 18, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

This is a "classic" Tia post, and exactly what made me fall in love with your blog in the first place. Just lovely. Filled with such detail and amazing photography as always!

Christopher And Tia May 18, 2010 at 6:19 PM  

Aw thank you, friends.

Puddle stomping is my favorite thing to photograph :)

Courtney- I really hope she always loves puddles as much as she does now. They're such an important part of being free.

Bombdigity- I hope that when they're older they remember through the photographs that I take. Even if they don't remember the actual experience, maybe just the memories of seeing the pictures will be enough.

And Chana- that warmed my heart. Really. "Classic Tia post", awwww.

Oh Mandie! May 18, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

I really need to buy the boys golashes! All it does here is rain this time of the year.

Your photos are amazing as always Tia!

F May 18, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

Those beautiful photos and the smiles! Your post totally made my evening! :)

soul_searching_mama May 18, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

You are an amazing mom! I love the photos, as usual. :)

Anonymous,  May 19, 2010 at 1:06 AM  


Andrea May 19, 2010 at 1:45 AM  

Ah! She's growing up so fast! One of my favorite videos, ever, is of little E finding the "dinglehopper" in the gutter puddle... :)

I loved this post!

Thanks for sharing.


Christopher And Tia May 19, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

Wow Andrea, you must have been following along with our adventures for quite some time! That video was from wayyy back when, Eleanore was not even two years old at the time :) That makes me so happy, to hear that someone else has been able to watch my baby grow.

Faith May 19, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

these are GREAT photos. love the big splashes!

Chelsea Robbins May 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM  

I love the shots of her reflection in the puddle.

so charming and sweet!

CraftGirlAlli May 19, 2010 at 6:32 PM  

Great pictures!!! What great memories she'll have of playing in the rain puddles!

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