Last summer, I took my 10-year-old nephew to Six Flags Great Adventure on a mostly overcast and muggy July day. It was his first time there, and it was the first time the 2 of us had ever done something together without anyone else. It was a special day and we had an awesome time. There was the chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon, which kept a lot of people away from the park.
That was a bonus, resulting in hardly any wait for the rides. The most we stood in line was for 10 minutes. Our tally for the day ride-wise: 16 times on Skull Mountain, 8 times on Runaway Train, two times on the Sky Ride, 1 time on the Safari, 1 time on the Log Flume, and 2 times on Congo River Rapids, which completely drenched me from head to toe and made him laugh. In fact, the day was full of laughs.
The most memorable part of the day happened about 4:30 pm. Thunderstorms, indeed, pummeled us, and we stood outside under the locker overhang by Skull Mountain. It was absolutely pouring. As we stood there, I watched people running past us in the rain, and every single person was screaming yet laughing at the same time, with a huge smiles as they tried to make it to dry land. The park had music playing, and the song “1, 2, 3, 4” by the Plain White T’s came over the PA system.
A family of 5 (mother, father, and 3 children between the ages of 6 and 12 I would guess) was running in the rain, then they stopped. Each of them then jumped in the puddles in unison, almost as if they had planned it. They were laughing and smiling, and I was witnessing a moment of pure joy.
It was the perfect song for this perfect scene, a folksy song with the phrase “I love you” repeated several times. This family clearly loved each other.
I completely forgot about this moment until I recently heard the song again in CVS. The faces on that family came flooding back to me, their smiles, their sheer happiness playing in the pouring rain, and I could picture it as if I saw it yesterday. A simple moment of fun, of togetherness, and of love.
It got me thinking. That’s what life is all about…learning to laugh and dance in the rain. The rain didn’t ruin this family’s day. Instead, the rain made the day better. And that’s a much better attitude to adopt.
The next time it rains in my world, I vow to laugh and dance. I will embrace the rain and relish with delight in its deluge. I hope you will, too.