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Rain, rain…

October 22nd, 2003 · No Comments

Monday set a record for the amount of rain – 5.02 inches in Seattle! Record Rain Hits Rainy City The previous record was 3.41 inches set in 1959.

It was a hard day for our family. The girls were tired after staying up late Sunday night. So they were cranky. I was tired too. And cranky too.

Plus we had all been spoiled by the sunny dry days, by our extended too-good-to-believe Indian summer in Seattle. Rain adds time to our travels, since we now have to put on coats, zip and snap them up, before going out the door. And then the car seat belts need to be adjusted to accommodate the coats. Driving requires more caution. Life takes longer in the rain. Wet days go slower.

Abigail had swimming lessons Monday afternoon, so we all had to get out the door and go out in the rain. I was unhappy about how my day had gone, what I had hoped to get done, and what was left undone. Too many interruptions for me. When I woke the girls from their naps, one cried, wanting to sleep more, and the other cried that she hadn’t slept at all. I found myself feeling like a rancher, prodding cattle, getting the children out the door in slow motion. Abigail and Michaela put on their coats and went out our back door onto the deck, while I put on my shoes and coat and grabbed the baby.

We were on the verge of being late to Abigail’s lesson. We would need to hurry to be on time. I felt overwhelmed by the work and by the amount of effort it seemed to be taking on a rainy Monday afternoon. I felt even more frustrated. When I looked outside and saw the girls were just standing on the deck, making nonsense noises, I felt annoyed with them. Why didn’t they walk down the steps to the garage? Why weren’t they more helpful in this moment?

As I shut the door, I was about to scold the girls. Then I saw what they were doing. Standing there in their red raincoats, hoods over their heads, Abigail and Michaela were sticking out their tongues, saying “AAAh” loudly.

“We’re tasting the rain!” They giggled.

Tasting the rain. But we’re still about to be late. So I hurried them onward, down the deck steps, holding baby and swim bag. I watched Abigail and Michaela make their way in the rain, prodding them with words, trying to motivate them to move.

Then down at the garage I caught a glimpse of myself. The glass window in the side door gave me a reflection that frigthened me. In my black raincoat, the hood too large for my head, I resembled a villain. My face was shaded in the dark, eyes hidden, my nose pale and prominent. I looked a bit like Darth Siddius from Star Wars or a bit like the Ringwraith riders in Lord of the Rings, or a spooky figure from a haunted Halloween house. I looked evil.

And I felt evil. Who am I? I thought to myself. What kind of mom am I? Why won’t I let them enjoy tasting the rain? Why can’t I laugh with them?

As I buckled up the girls and then backed the van out of the driveway I prayed.
Raindrops ran down the windshield, wipers pushing it away. The rain was flowing, even flooding our yard, water washing over the earth.

God, wash me. Wipe away the evil. Make me new. Make me a new mom.

In the pool parking lot, we got out of the van. As I grabbed Elisabeth from her baby seat on one side, I saw the girls already out on the other side of the van. There they were, their red hoods side by side, sticking out their tonges again, smiling. And this time I smiled too.

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