Mary Poppins is always right. Let’s just start there. We’ve known this for a very long time. What we never considered, until we sat down to write the next installment of Practical Poppins Perspectives (make sure you didn’t miss the first one about how Well Begun is Half Done) is that she’s actually a lesson in science. Case in point: “Children who get their feet wet must learn to take their medicine.”
This quote is, as far as we’re concerned, a really well-phrased lesson in cause and effect. It’s a “what goes up must come down” or a “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” kind of situation.
Literally speaking, what Mary means is that when you spend the afternoon splashing in puddles in the wintertime, you may have to pay the piper. In this case, the piper is different flavors of what we can only assume is a more magical variety of cough medicine.
Figuratively, however, we think she’s likely making a larger statement to the children that one must consider that no action is ever taken in a vacuum. There’s no beginning that doesn’t have an end, no action that doesn’t cause a ripple, and no situation that doesn’t impact another. It’s just the way it is, folks.
Besides, taking personality-specific cough medication seems like a really low price to pay for getting to spend an afternoon gallivanting around in a chalk pavement picture. We’d happily oblige, Mary. Seriously. We’ll jump into the picture. If memory serves us, we think, we wink, we do a double blink, we close our eyes, and JUMP. (Can you still see us? Or are we on a carousel in the beautifully-painted countryside?)
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