Tracking in the Mud

All things children and nature

My New Love Affair with Rain Boots March 14, 2010

Filed under: Getting Outside with Kids — Sandy Beverly @ 11:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is an “encore presentation” of a blog written in October 2008.  I still love rain boots.  And snow boots…

I didn’t have rain boots when I was a kid.  (Did anyone in 1970s suburbia?)  My older son didn’t have ‘em in his early years either.  We try to keep the shoe count to a minimum, and there have been entire seasons when Simon had only a single pair of shoes.  But this year I have fallen in love with rain boots.

Simon’s pair came to us when he was five, an inexpensive “Well, why not?” purchase at Lasting Impressions.  Boots were pretty nice, I soon realized.  They really did keep out water, they were eye-catching (dark blue with yellow stripes, haphazardly pushing up the pant legs), and they made a nice –clunk! clunk! clunk!- sound.

Big Brother, in his Blues

But those boots really began to make my heart go pitter-patter after I read Rachel Carson’s essay, “A Sense of Wonder.”  Carson writes about sharing nature with her young nephew and recalls that some of their most special moments were at times we moms might consider inconvenient—after dark (i.e., after bedtime!) or during or after a rainstorm (i.e., wet and muddy times!)  Carson’s essay re-awakened my belief that children should go outside in all seasons and all weather, and I vowed to take more walks at “inconvenient” times.  Since then, Simon’s boots have accompanied us in the rain, snow, and mud.  They’ve even gotten stuck in what Simon calls “quick sand” during a winter walk on a local golf course.

Little Brother's Yellows

A pair for little brother moved in a few weeks ago (ankle-high yellow ones, with zippers).  This time, I deliberately searched them out on e-bay.  Max loves them, and I get a giggle out of seeing him clomp around in public when it hasn’t rained for days.

Most importantly, we’re finding our muddy backyard a little less problematic.  And the fact that we all have boots makes me want to go out in search of puddles!  Last week, we found a humungous puddle on a nearby cul-de-sac, so now we can stomp to our heart’s content without worrying about traffic.

It seems like a little thing, I know.  And it is a bit inconvenient to come home muddy and wet.  But my heart tells me that kids need this messy, carefree outdoor time.  Heck, I need it!  And having boots just gives us an excuse.  Hooray for rain boots!

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