Stylish was hard at work on her math when the light mist turned into a pelting rainstorm. She dropped her pencil and looked out of the cockpit. “Mom, it’s raining. Can I go outside and have recess?”
“Sure. Put on a bathing suit first.”
It is a pleasure to say those words again. The bathing suit part, of course. I’ve never been a don’t-get-wet kind of person. But, for so long, going out in the rain meant a pile of gear, drippy wool socks, and demands for hot chocolate at the end of it. Sending the kids out to play in the rain is much more fun when they don’t come back hypothermic.
Stylish collected rain from the awnings in a Tupperware pot. Lacking anyone else to dump her buckets on – her sister was at school – she poured them over her own head. Fifteen minutes later, she was toweled off and back at her math. And life was good.
|A fresh drink, straight from the awning.|
At eleven o’clock, we walked over to Indy’s school to pick her up for lunch. The kids get a long lunch hour here – an hour and a half – and you only have two choices: a) sign up for the school cantine program, or b) take them home and feed them. You may not send a bagged lunch to school. (Don’t ask me why.) We have signed up for the cantine for the new year, but the program is currently full. That means we have to hike over the hill every day at lunch to get Indy. Unfortunately, the walk is a little too far to go home again, eat, and hoof it back to school in time for the afternoon session. Luckily, there is a lovely park a block away from the school. So, every day, Erik and I take turns on the lunch run, and have a picnic in the park with the girls.
Inevitably, this rainy day was my turn. I had hoped things would ease by lunchtime, but no such luck. Out came the rain pants, rain coats and boots.
When Stylish and I arrived at school, Indy jumped off the “waiting bench” and gave me a hug. She immediately started pulling on the rain gear we had brought.
“How was school this morning?” I asked. “Did you have fun?”
Indy grimaced. “They made us stay inside at recess.”
Stylish gave her a smug smile. “I played in the rain at recess.”
Indy just shook her head in disgust. She could not understand why they had been forced to stay indoors on such a beautiful day. And while I can appreciate that her teacher shouldn’t have to deal with thirty soaking-wet children all day long, I do wish the school didn’t have to resort to indoor recess. It isn’t as though it were 5 C outside, with icy sleet blowing down from the nearest Pole.
We walked down to the park. Usually there are several other families there, eating lunch and playing on the swings. Office workers arrive, alone or in pairs, to eat a croque monsieur and enjoy the mild weather. But today, unsurprisingly, we had the park to ourselves. It was raining so hard that I almost wore my foulies – a white, hooded, waterproof onesie that makes me look like a giant condom. (Out of kindness to my family, I spared them that humiliation in favour of a thigh-length yellow slicker. Not much better, but better all the same.)
The girls immediately ran for the playground equipment. Wearing their rain pants helped the girls shoot a good four feet off the ends of the slides.
|Do you think we can make it all the way to the concrete?|
We ate lunch under one of the play structures, then it was back to splashing and stomping and sliding until the lunch hour was over.
I dropped Indy off at her classroom, and hung her rain things on a hook.
“Take those home,” she grumped. “I won’t need them here.”
“We’ll let them dry,” I said. “Maybe you can use them on the way home.”
She brightened. “Okay. If it is still raining when I get home, can I go out in my bathing suit?”
|I may have outgrown it, but it is still fun to watch.|