I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Monday is typically my twin sons’ day at “school.” But since one of them has been throwing up since about noon yesterday, I am working from home. A home coated in old blankets and towels to catch all the goo.

I am happy to stay home on days like today. A few hours ago, my friends were all posting pictures of the sky – dark and ominous horizons, huge cloud banks rolling in, trees mid-whip in the wind. Yes, I thought. I’m happy to be home today.

When I was about five, maybe six, a storm like this began to brew. It was mid-afternoon. My mom had a clear plastic umbrella with a white tassel on the J-shaped handle. I ran outside with that umbrella and sat on the sidewalk. The umbrella formed a toadstoolish cover to keep me dry as the rain pelted down. I was fascinated, watching the ground around me form a perfect circle of dry pavement. I could look up and see the rain racing down at me.

“What are you doing?” My mom called from the front stoop.

I don’t remember exactly what I said. Probably a sheepish, “Nothing…” Which meant, I don’t know what it’s called but it’s making me happy.

Another time, not long after that, I walked up and down the short street on one side of our house. Rain pouring down, with that clear umbrella. My dad hollered from the back porch, “You look like the Morton Salt Girl!”

The truth is, I don’t love sunny weather. My English-Irish skin burns too easily. I hate being hot. I hate sweating and smelling bad. I’m not good at outdoor things like sports. Or tanning. I loathed summer vacation because I like a lot of structured time. When I was a kid, nobody had invented helicopter parenting, and we didn’t have a ton of money, so my summers were spent watching cartoons, reading, riding my bike aimlessly around the neighborhood.

Rainy days at school meant we did indoor things like coloring. YASSSS COLORING. I like indoor things. Board games and reading and watching movies.

I’ll go outside in the rain. I like umbrellas. I’ll run through the rain and splash in puddles. Everybody is good at that.

I’m not sure how I would do in a rainier climate, like the Pacific Northwest. But I’d like to visit. Just to see.

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