An hour ago we sprinted with our neighbors V & G back from the playground because the sky was suddenly black. I have great memories of sprints like that from childhood--usually from more foreboding places (the pool, or better yet, the ocean, once even the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, just about as flat and treeless a stretch of land as you can find apart from Iowa). There was also the time my parents didn't realize Charles Island was actually an island and went racing with us on shoulders for the half-mile sweep of rocks and sand as the tide came in.
Today both boys were in strollers which made it easy, and of course they loved the panicky ride, shouting “Fast again!” whenever we came to a light. Plus they were already soaking wet from playing in a puddle at the park, so there really wasn't much of a rush. At one point Wally's therapist Jules had been about to stop him from jumping (with socks, shoes and falling-down pants) into a puddle and then stopped herself, realizing -- of course he's going to want to jump in a puddle, I would have done the same thing at his age. G. did too. So for the rest of the time there Wally and G. were pretty soaked and sandy and dirty, crashing into each other and playing with big-wheels, a game that appeared to be a cross between bumper cars and chicken. Not to classify by gender but across the playground, the only other kids there were two little girls in lovely spring dresses pouring juice smoothies into each others' cups. (I mean I'm not classifying by gender, merely describing what happened, and happens all the time. Although Wally's also very into his baby doll Arrow and gets upset when the doll's diaper falls off (see picture below)).
V, the mom, was actually a high-school sprinter so it was only thanks to those missed lights that we were able to stay roughly together for the race home. Once inside I grabbed my camera inside and came back down with Wally because I wanted to capture these marvelous pink trees in the yard next to our building before the rain pulled down all the flowers. When we got to the lobby there was a crowd of wet cranky neighbors gathered there saying they hoped I wasn't taking Wally outside.
"Oh, it's raining?" I had thought we still had a minute to spare.
"It's not raining! It's pouring," they spat out, with a how-dare-you look I think aimed more at the sky than at me.
Wally and I did go out, and it was only a light shower. I don't know if we just missed the downpour but either way I hope he learns never to trust a wet cranky person who tells you it's pouring out and that you should stay inside. I did at first leave Wally just by the door, under the watchful eye of Adriano peering out from the laundry room.
And then I snapped a few shots of the trees, as planned.
Periodically turning around to check on Wally who was making steady progress toward me.
And then I gave up and deciding to revel in the rain and the last hurrah of pink flowers.
Kids are so much easier to take care of when you let them be kids.
I wanted to say something about how I'm glad I caught those pink flowers; they're here for such a short time. But that's such an obvious, unimaginative metaphor. Still, I'm glad I did.