Friday, March 7, 2014

Oh The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

   It won't stop raining. Of course, I suppose I signed up for this when I moved to Washington, because we all know this place is overcast and rainy. That's fine. I've learned to deal with the rain. I've learned to deal with being wet all the time, and having wet, soggy feet. I've also learned to wear a coat with a hood, because chances are, at some point in the day, there is going to be rain, and after a few years of carrying an umbrella everywhere I went, I gave it up. It starts raining around here, we just all pull our hoods up and hope we can get under cover before we look like we've jumped in a lake.
   At any rate, I didn't move here being totally unfamiliar with the rain. I've lived a large chunk of my life in Mississippi, my dad's side of the family is from that state, and I moved to Florida before I had my daughter. Both of those states get plenty of rain. Not as constantly as Washington, but worse, in some ways because those states' rain tends to come with hurricanes, and at the least, thunder and lightening. It's just those states have dry seasons, and here every season is wet and rainy.
   I can't remember, growing up in MS, just rain. I remember rain that came accompanied by lightening and thunder, and we were always cautioned; don't hold metal (no umbrellas), don't stand under trees, get inside, and so-on and so-forth. In Washington, at least in the area I live, we get substantial amounts of rain, but rarely do we get an actual thunderstorm. 
   Which of course, leads me to thinking of my daughter, who has mostly lived in Washington. She was born in Florida, but we moved up north when she was three. So she is not used to thunderstorms at all, and I never really thought about telling her the safety measures about being outside in a thunderstorm, in part, because we never were outside in a thunderstorm. But a while back, we were having a really good thunderstorm, however,  we couldn't be smart, sensible people because she had to go to school, which means she had to catch the bus. I don't have a car, so my taking her to school was out, because walking would have put her more in the weather than catching the bus, and she never wants to stay home. So we went to the bus stop in the bad weather. 
   I am not allowed to stand with my daughter anymore. She's at that age where dear old mom standing at the bus stop is embarrassing, but I don't leave either; I stand at the corner, a few feet away from the actual bus stop. When we go to catch the bus, it's still dark outside. Her school starts early, and I don't like her standing by the side of the road, waiting for a bus, in the dark, without being close by so I can hear her shout if she needs me. While we don't live in the most terrible of neighborhoods, I have certainly lived worse places, neither do we live in the best of neighborhoods. So I stand there, whether she likes it or not. 
   And at this time, I was standing there, hoping the bus will come fast so that we can all get out of the lightening; I look over at all the kids, to see how they are handling all this stormy weather, and they are, all of them, huddled underneath the damn trees. Including my daughter, who looks at me like I am crazy when I start yelling at them, "Get out from underneath the trees!" 
   They are all looking at me like I am some bat-shit, creeper woman, and none of them are moving, the thunder is steadily rolling, so I holler again, "Ya'll have got to get out from underneath those trees." They still don't move, not a one of them, so I call my daughter over to me and explain to her that trees attract lightening and they all need to move. She stomps off, saying, "Well, no one ever told me that." Which is true enough, but she can't get them to move either, so I am looking at my daughter standing away from the trees, all by herself, while she looks at all these other kids, huddled in the shelter of the trees, and I am just praying for the bus to come before someone gets hit by lightening, and I am wishing that some of these kids' parents would actually bother to come to the bus stop once in a while, because damned if I wanna deal with this shit before it's even daylight. 
  This is what comes of not teaching your kids not to stand underneath trees in a thunderstorm. Of course, the bus did come, and the kids were all safe, but they all looked at me askance for a while after that; I was the crazy woman who wanted them to stand in rain. 

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