Yesterday, it poured. Now, when I say “poured” I mean buckets and sheets of water being dumped from the sky. My family and I live in Southern British Columbia and we know rain. We live in rain. It isn’t called “Raincouver” for any other reason, other than it always seems to rain. We have a whole bunch of different terms for rain here as well. There is sprinkling, showers, misting, drizzle, heavy, light, pouring etc. Today it poured. The rain started out as a drizzle and soon within minutes was coming down in buckets. I know this all, because I was in it.
I was having a discussion with my cousin today about our love for rain and why it never seems to bother us. We both seem to not be fazed by that wet stuff falling from the sky and seem to live in the minority because of this. I first noticed this about myself when I lived in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor has a different weather pattern than here in Vancouver. Windsor experiences monsoon rain and only for a few minutes at a. It can be a nice day and then out of nowhere 15 minutes of pouring rain will show up and disappear almost as quickly as it appeared.
One day I was going for a run along the river, while my hubby was in class, and it started to rain. Instead of turning back to wait it out my Vancouver instinct said to just stick it out and keep going. If we were to wait for the rain to stop, here in Vancouver, than we would never get anything done. So I kept running. When I started my run I would pass a fellow human being every once and awhile but as the rain started and quickly picked up I noticed my human encounters became few and far between. After a while, I realized I was the only person outside in the rain. I am not even joking. This became a common occurrence during my 3 years of living in Southern Ontario. They just did not do rain.
Rain is where I find refuge. Rain is where I feel free. Rain is what helps me let go of being in control and just let myself get wet. I soak in the chaos. Nothing stays dry when it is outside in the rain. Not one part of you is protected from those wet drops from above. Learning to love the rain is almost a necessity when living in my home town. If you don’t love it, you will spend a lot of days being disappointed by it. Rain tends to get a bad rap, but not with me. Once I learned the joys that come in the rain, my life became more manageable.
That first moment when it starts to rain and you have to make the plunge outside, You try your best to dodge the raindrops and the puddles forming at your feet. You shrug off one or two drops as they hit your shoulders, head and back, you duck under other items to try and shield you from the falling rain. This image reminds me of parenting my children. So often do I try and avoid actually parenting. I try and dodge the fights and fend off the whining. I want to avoid getting messy and actually diving into a conversation with my kids in fear that they will need me for something. Need me to play with them, need me to feed them, need me to read to them, need me to wipe their bottoms. So much of my day is spent trying to set them up to play independently when all they want is for me to dive in and have fun along side them.
So many excuses roll off my tongue as my son begs me to pick up the lego and build him a house. I buy myself more time alone by using the false hope that in 10 minutes I will spend time with them. Ten minutes rolls around and now I need to prep dinner or do laundry. Avoiding the little hands that are reaching out to me in my own effort to stay “dry”.
This hit me today, hard.
I do this. I avoid my children as if spending time with them is as annoying as getting soaking wet in the rain. Spending time in imagination world with my children is hard because I am an adult and I have lost all ability to carry on a conversation with a lego man and a barbie doll. 5 minutes into playing with them and I am ready to move on and call it a day. Playing with them is not interesting. There are way more pinterest boards that need to be filled and instagram pictures that need to be taken. In all honesty, I would rather take a picture of them playing together than be playing alongside them.
I stood in the rain and I let it soak into my clothes. I let the cold water run down my face and into my mouth. I planted my feet and didn’t hide from the downpour of water falling from the sky. Soon this monsoon will pass. Soon the sun will come out and I will dry. Soon my babies will stop asking me to play with them. Soon they will push me aside and prefer people who are much cooler than me. I know this day will come. I know the rain will stop. Those little children of mine, do not know this day is coming. They think it will rain forever. They think I will always be their hero. They come to me with open arms and soak me in each day. They are not annoyed by me. They always want to spend time with me.
Yes the days are long and the years are short. It’s true. Truer than I would like.
But our goal should not be about making the super long day end. Our goal shouldn’t be to wake up from our interrupted horrible sleep and then count down the minutes until we get to pretend to go to bed again. Those little night wakers are not out to destroy our lives. We are their lives. We are there everythings. We are their heroes. So often I am reminded that I am failing at this. So often I am brought to tears about how horrible I have been to them. How I did not treat them like I would want them to treat other people.
This moment spent in the rain reminded me that I need to soak in my time with my kids. I don’t have to enjoy it. I don’t have to be good at it. I just need to get on the floor and be with them. I need to plant my feet, take a deep breath and not move from their side. I need to soak them in and let those sticky little hands cover me with love. The laundry can wait and probably should. The kitchen can get cleaned later. Your facebook and instagram are not going anywhere. If I am their world, their whole life, shouldn’t I do my very best to make it a happy one? Shouldn’t I allow myself to be immersed in their worlds while they let me?
Excuse me while I go and stand in the rain.