I don’t know if California “weather” makes the news in other states, but the rain over here has been crazy. We usually see a handful of wet days every year, so an entire week of rain, at one point without a break for three days, is something to marvel. The streets are flooded, my back and side yards are flooded (is my venus in Aquarius or something with all the water this week?), and the stores are empty because everyone knows that Californians can’t drive in the rain. It’s just safer to stay home and try to plug in your Christmas lights during a downpour.
Yesterday was pretty much perfect because I didn’t have to leave the house. I spent most of the day cleaning, which ended up working in my favor later when someone popped over unexpectedly. I had the smug satisfaction of saying, “Come on in!” and not having to worry about the house being a wreck. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for my appearance because my friend took one look at me and said, “You look beyond exhausted.”
Perhaps, but have you checked behind my washer? Lint free, baby!
Then she said my floors looked great, and I told her that was one of the benefits of having your washing machine send gallons of sudsy water through your toilet and flood 1/4 of your house. It really gets the whole cleaning process started and, I think, does a little something for those deep down stains.
Besides cleaning, I also did a little baking for the boys, mainly because I wanted to, but also as penance for being a crazy mom the last ten days. It’s the least I could do for them. I decided to make the toffee blondies I made for the front office earlier in the week. Kind of a risk, since I knew if they tasted terrible I would agonize about my decision to make them but, what can I say? “Danger” is my middle name.
Of course I didn’t have two eggs.
Of course I wasn’t going to get in the car and drive to the store, not with it sprinkling and those wacky Californians on the road.
Of course I decided to send Mikey next door for eggs in the rain.
Now, before anyone gets their garland in a bunch, it was sprinkling. Also, I knew Mikey would love the idea of doing an “errand” for me. He is at the age where he loves to help, and the more mundane and adult-like the task, the better. Two nights ago I told him his new chore was to spray and wipe down the table with cleanser after dinner. I thought he would weep from joy. You have never seen anyone take to a task so seriously. It reminded me of the time my mom said I could dust the furniture when I was 12. I almost choked from the satisfaction of using q-tips to get into the corners. (You should know that 26 years later, I’ve lost that loving feeling for dusting.)
So I bundled him up in his rain/snow jacket, the one I thought we would only need in Lake Tahoe, fastened his hood, and started in with my detailed list of instructions. Say please and thank you. Address her as Mrs. Courtland. Two eggs. No walking in the street, just cut across our lawn and walk through the flower beds. But don’t step on any flowers!
By this time Nicholas knew something was up, and if Mikey likes to imitate adults, Nicholas likes to imitate Mikey. Soon he was in his jacket, hood around his face, looking up at me while I added a few more instructions. Hold hands. Don’t go exploring, and come right back. Only Mikey can hold the eggs.
I decided to follow a little behind them and wait in the middle of the lawn to make sure they followed directions and stayed safe. I know, I know. Overprotective. But!
Since it was sprinkling, I left my coat inside and walked out wearing sweats, a long-sleeved shirt, and a flannel shirt. The boys were all excited, holding hands and heading across the lawn towards Mrs. Courtland’s house next door. So, so, sweet. Everything went according to plan until they hit the middle of the lawn, when suddenly it was like God unzipped the sky. The rain! Holy cats and dogs! The only time I have ever been outside in rain like that was during a mild hurricane in Cancun almost 20 years ago. It was liked I stepped into a shower fully clothed, and within seconds I was completely drenched. More importantly, I could barely see the boys, who were only 20 feet in front of me.
Nicholas turned around, looked at me, and immediately started crying. The rain came on so hard and fast, it scared him to bits. Mikey also turned around, but he just looked at me in shock. I started laughing nervously and opened my arms to Nicholas, who immediately ran to me, looking a lot like the Stay Pufft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters. Mikey couldn’t hear me above the rain, but I saw him turn and run to Mrs. Courtland’s house. I ran to our door, pushed Nico inside, and told him to hold tight. I ran back outside to the front yard and saw Mikey talking to Mrs. Courtland, who pulled him inside as she waved me off. Good. He was fine.
I turned around again, ran inside the house, squeezed out my hair, tossed my shirt in the dryer (it took 30 minutes to dry), and ran back outside, not having the common sense to grab my coat. I was running to the car to grab my umbrella so I could pick up Mikey when I saw him, barely, running through the rain with an egg in each hand. I grabbed him and pulled him inside.
We stood there staring at each other in shock, every last stitch of clothing on our bodies soaking wet, taking in big breaths of air as if we had just ran marathon. Water pooled at our feet, coming off of our clothing in rivers and I noted that, yet again, my floors were covered in water. Mikey held up the two eggs like trophies and opened his mouth to speak.
“Mom. That. Was. AWESOME.”