Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jacket optional

Illustration completely unrelated to the following story except in the sense that it demonstrates today's rain, and that it made me smile. There are untold depths to government parking garages.


These are my children. The ones who wore jackets to school today, the sixth of August. The ones who begged for those jackets. The ones who snapped and velcroed and zipped those jackets closed. The ones who walked into the car, waited for its ignition to start, and only then raised their hoods over their heads.

It rained this morning. It rained hard. Thick. These are my children and this is their concoction: on warm, rainy days such as today, they like to drive en plein air. They pull their lap blankets down to their toes and up to their armpits. They raise their hoods and then, only then, they lower their windows.

(A mama can get some funny looks for driving around town with her back windows lowered in a storm-drain-overwhelming rainstorm.)

So on days when the air is warm and the rain is pouring and the old man, somewhere, surely he's snoring, this is how we drive. I indulge them in this craziness because it appears to be true: you can't go back. You only get a childhood once.

But here's the kicker. We made our drive through the clouds-come-to-Earth and I pulled up in front of their daycare. I pulled one girl out of the car, then two, and in vain (because it's always in vain) I encouraged them to walk quickly. You know, so we could get out of the rain. And that's when L got defiant. No! she yelled, and began clawing at the velcro closures of her rainjacket like some Biblical woman rending her garments upon hearing the bad news of her husband's demise on some unpronounceable battlefield.

So there we were, the three noteverstill women:
  • the three-year-old, sensibly attired for the weather and enjoying a morning walk;
  • the unjacketed mother bearing two lunchbags, a package of tushie wipes and the newfound knowledge that scoopneck top+pregnancy-enhanced cleavage=raindrop target practice;
  • and the genius one-year-old who removed her protective raingear only after getting out of the car and strutted in tank top and shorts through the driving rain, dragging her peacock tail of a jacket through every puddle in her wake.
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