Kindergartners Talk of God on the Way to P.E.

Yesterday’s report on kindergarten started with: “When we were walking to P.E., it was raining, and one of the kids in my class said that the rain is God’s pee.”

He laughed hysterically, holding his belly.

“And the snow is God’s poop,” more laughter before suddenly considering, “God has fun poop!”

At dinner when he retold the joke, I said, “I thought the rain was God’s tears.”

“So Catholic of you,” said the only other adult at the table.

The nine year old piped in, “But if God is going to be sad, it’s much better to be covered in his tears than his pee.”

Excellent theological point.

Conversation on a Rainy Summer Weekend

“Mom! Knock, knock,” says the eight year old…for the hundredth time this wet, gray weekend.

“What?” I hate rain.

“You can’t say ‘what?’ Say ‘who’s there?’”

“Honey, grown-ups really don’t like knock, knock jokes.”

“But this is a good one.”

“Okay, who’s there?”

“Mom!” interrupts the four year old, “which BeyBlade do you think is going to win the battle, Hades Kerbecs or Burn Fireblaze?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes you do. Pick one.”

“Mom! You were doing my knock, knock joke.”

“Oh right, who’s there?”

“Hades Kerbecs or Burn Fireblaze?”

“Mom!” the nine year old jumps in, “look at this. “Garfield’s theory of evolution. Do you think Odie or a rock is smarter?”

“Mom!” The eight year old again. “Knock, knock!”

“Who does Garfield think is smarter? John or a food processer?”

“Hades Kerbecs or Burn Fireblaze?”

“I pick Burn Fireblaze.”

“No way,” says the four year old.

“He’s weak,” says the nine year old.

“The food processor?”

“Knock, knock!” yells the eight year old.

I can’t wait for the sun to come out.

The Texts my Husband in Atlanta Got from the Storm in Colorado

Context: First, I typically do not text my husband multiple times in one evening. Second, it is a well-known fact that every time my husband leaves town, Denver gets hit with a blizzard or other near-natural disaster. And I am left to dig us out alone.

Saturday

4:28pm: Well, just found all our gutter troublespots. Massive storm. Collected an entire large cooler full of rain, one and a half of that plastic container I was going to use in the laundry room full of water, and several large bowls. I survived the lightning by pure luck, only have a tiny bit of water in the guestroom window, and broke one more coffee cup. You would have been proud! A hot shower calls!

4:45pm: Still water coming in window, but able to soak it up as it seeps in. I hear the rain starting again. Need to check my coolers, tubs and bowls. No hot shower yet for me!

6:24pm: All quiet on the western front.

8:04pm: Round Two goes to the girl in the red sweatshirt. Another cooler full and multiple bowls. Two rounds of towels washed and dried and ready at their stations in case there is a Round Three in the middle of the night. All water collection traps are empty. But not sure how long we can hold the line!

8:20pm: I swear you and Mother Nature are having an affair!

Sunday

7:21am: I am a warrior!

Even in an Emergency, My Kids Make Me Laugh

Yesterday, we drove my husband to the airport for a week-long trip. Hours later the skies of Colorado opened up and the prayers of many in our State were answered. Rain, and lots of it.

At first, as I watched it come down, I thought, oh good, the wildfires are going out. But then I heard gushing water just outside our front door.

Our basement has flooded twice in the last couple of years – all during storms like this one. After the first, we had the gutters cleaned, loud fans for a week, and all new carpeting installed. After the second, a smaller flood, we replaced the relatively new carpeting in one room. Anyone who has suffered from flash basement flooding knows what this costs and how it adds to family stress.

I was not about to do it all again.

If I believed in a Goddess of Rain (it would have to be a woman to display this much rage), I would have looked up at the sky and yelled, “This is my house! You are not getting in this time!” Of course, I would have had to worry about the neighbors looking out their windows at the rain and thinking I had lost my mind…. But I would have felt empowered to beat the imminent flooding.

I ran outside to find that not only had our gutters turned into Niagara Falls, but some of the main drains from them were filled with holes, water spouting out in torrents.

All of it heading for my basement windows… again.

I dashed inside, grabbed the biggest bowl I could find and placed it under the first major gutter failure. Then back inside for a large cooler, which I placed under a waterfall beneath our highest gutter. Back inside for another large plastic container to put in the backyard where another gutter overflow poured directly into a window well…

…yelling the entire time for towels and help.

Help, of course, from my nine, eight and four year old boys. If that expectation is not a sign of desperation, I don’t know what is!

Back to the front yard with rounds of thunder coming in constant waves and non-stop lightning filling the sky – and it seemed, the yard – around me. Again my thoughts ran to the Rain Goddess that I do not believe in, because I am a perfectly rational person. But just in case…“If I get struck by lightning, I will get my revenge, missy!”

My eight year old eventually arrived at the front door with one towel. My nine year old peeked out to watch.

While I was able to capture some of the water spouting from holes in our drainage system, I could not fit the bowl directly underneath the drain. And I had since realized the towel was going to be useless until the tide was turned and I could take a hot shower.

“Get me a big cup!” I yelled in the direction of the door, as lightning threatened from much too close and I carried the metal bowl to the middle of the yard to dump it. (Apparently, I am not terribly smart in an emergency.)

Too many slow seconds passed waiting for the cup as gallons of water dumped into the window wells at every side of the house.

I ran to the now filled cooler and dumped it into the middle of the yard again.

“Mom!”

“Oh, thank god!” (Not you, you wench of a Rain Goddess.)

My nine year old stood on the doorstep, wide-eyed, afraid to step out into the storm, and holding the smallest, most delicate coffee cup we own.

And the water kept coming.

I am not sure if the laughing or my shivering in the cold made me drop the cup.

The boys disappeared.

Another many too-slow seconds later, and “Mom! Will a pickle jar work?”

Yes, honey, I failed to say, a pickle jar is perfect.

And our basement was saved.

Harbour Island, Bahamas: Day 5

Island Storms

We played at the water’s edge, our sandcastle knights and kings battling the rising tide to save the walls of an undecorated fortress. The black clouds gathered at the horizon, sending its minions like gray ribbons to envelope the sun and threaten our fun.

But we stayed, prolonging our beach time, hoping the clouds would blow south or north of us. And occasionally, the sun tricked us into complacency by shining down from a small blue patch in the otherwise foreboding sky. When the sun peeked out, the sea turned a dark green color. It looked like glass that had been chiseled by a strong hand.

“Mom, we should go,” said the cautious son.

“We’re already wet. As long as it doesn’t thunder or lightning, we can stay.” But mothers are not always right.

Mere moments later, the clouds joined the rising tide in its battle against our castle and battalion of three boys and their parents. Rain pelted us as we screeched and ran and laughed, pushing each other across the sand, up the bank, down the path to the already soaked golf cart waiting for us.

“Go faster!”

“The street is a river already!”

“Dad, drive faster!”

“It’s cold!”

The roosters were silent. The streets were empty, the locals and other tourists more willing to accept a timely and honorable defeat. Finally at the Back Banyans, we piled out of the golf cart and ran into the cabin just as the lights went out all over the island, and the neighbors’ alternate generators kicked on, loudly humming with the rain.

Out at the horizon, the sky had already cleared.

But our sandcastle had surely fallen.