Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain Patrols

I'm nine, and I walk in the door soaking wet. No coat, no rain jacket. I've been walking in the rain. I'd loved walking in the rain for as long as I could remember. Rain seemed like a special occasion in southern California, and I wanted to feel it, to remember it, to celebrate.

My mom sighs and asks, "What were you thinking?"
"It was fun."
"Getting soaked is fun?"
"Well, yeah."

Mom shakes her head, but she's smiling just a little.


Dylan asks if we can go out "on patrol."
"It's raining," I say.
"It'll be fun."
I start to tell him that we'll wait for the rain to slow down. But then, I remember.

I grab a jacket and meet my son back at the front door. "Where's your jacket?"
"Don't need one," he says.
"C'mon. Get a jacket."
"Please, Dad?"

A memory. A nine year-old's memory.

We come back a half hour later. We're soaked. We're on the verge of shivering. Mom is waiting.

"Where are your jackets?"
"We left them behind," Dylan answers.
"What were you guys thinking?"

But she's smiling just a little, and while her words were "What were you guys thinking?", what we hear is "I love you both, even when you do stupid stuff."

She orders us to stand by the front door. She grabs a couple of towels, orders us to take off our shirts, towels off Dylan, towels off me. She disappears, and comes back with sweat pants and fresh t-shirts for both of us. We put on the dry duds, and retire to the sofa to watch "Dirty Jobs."

Rhonda comes out of the kitchen with hot chocolate. She looks at us, shakes her head, and utters, "boys."

I look at Dylan. He looks so happy.


Debby said...

And I'll bet when Dylan looked at his father, he thought, "Dad looks so happy."

Congratulations. You've made a memory that will last a life time. And just the fact that you can walk outside without a coat makes me oh so very jealous.

Mary Paddock said...

Great story Hal. What a terrific memory this will make for him.

Dean said...

Great post. Reminded me of running through the snow in the backyard, in my underwear with my boys... why did we do it? because we thought it would be fun... and it was for all of 2 seconds

Bob Barbanes said...

Why is it that we adults often forget about simple things like walking in the rain without a raincoat? And what is it about the rain, anyway? I've done all sorts of things out in the rain, and sometimes the only explanation I can give is, "It's,"

Congrats for letting Dylan have the experience, even if your true motive was to do the same dumb thing again as you did when you were young. I hope it was good for both of you ;)

Kelly said...

What a great post!! This will make for a terrific memory for both of you. Bet it was fun, too!

Roland said...

nice one

Scotty said...

Yep, great post - brought back memories for me too...


Annie said...

Love this.