"Think it's raining at our house, guys?"
My Arizona kids love a good rainstorm, and the word rain perked the ears of even the grumpiest among them.
Our five-minute drive home ended with no rain overhead, and all of us were disappointed. Suddenly, I thought something fantastic.
"Hey. Should we chase the storm down? Find the rain? Doesn't look like it's too far from here."
My stroke of genius generated an unexpectedly weak response, but I was undeterred. Turning right and left and right again--always keeping the giant dark clouds in sight--I tried to maneuver us into the storm's path. With the complicating factor that I had five guests coming to dinner in an hour, I knew I couldn't take long on this chase.
After turning one way and hitting impassable road construction, I decided it was best to head home. I flipped a U-turn, and just as I was about to enter the freeway, I thought, "Just one more chance. Let's head north and see what happens."
If you have never experienced a legit Arizona monsoon storm, you haven't lived. An all-too-common blistering sunlit day suddenly darkens with clouds of moisture and desert dust. The wind whips bark off palm trees and topples trash cans. Headlights turn on and power goes out.
And then the clouds open, and it rains. Driving, pelting sheets of rain that last unpredictable lengths of time--a minute to an hour or more.
"Should I pull over?"
The boys whooped. "Can we get out and play in it if you do?"
Arizona monsoons were made for rain-starved Arizona kids. How can a mom say no?
In five violent minutes, the fields had turned to mud and I didn't want to shampoo my Suburban's carpets just for a frolic in the rain. Quickly scanning the unfamiliar neighborhood, I saw a concrete circular driveway that I'm sure had been installed for the express purpose of rainstorm enjoyment.
The boys were so excited that doors of the Suburban opened before I could park. Rain whipped in as the boys scampered out, but the wind was so strong that Micah could barely close the door. This was a good one.
Notice the sideways garbage cans?
Yes to all, my girl.
Shivering with cold and shaking with the thrill of the storm, they both exclaimed, "THAT WAS AWESOME!"
I turned onto the road and drove to the nearest intersection. The street was a name I recognized, and I knew I could meander along it towards home. The closer we drew to home, the softer and fewer the raindrops fell. By the time we reached our house, the sidewalks only bore a few drop marks and the trees stood straight and almost dry.
Boys ran upstairs for warm pajamas (no matter it was 5 pm), Eve found her baby doll, and I popped the pasta into the oven.
With time to spare.
The next time I ask the kids if they want to chase the rain, I expect their responses to be a little more enthusiastic.
*Do your kids do that? When one of them is in trouble, the other decides to be on their best behavior?