These days are long and busy and filled with living. Real, repetitious, living. First grade math homework. For one thing. They are filled with planning and bathing and grocery shopping and laundry which just never seems to be done. Days of, "Pick up your dirty socks and push in your chair and feed the dog, go to the bathroom and get in the car before we're late!" They culminate into this idea that, one day, in the not so distant future, I'll have raised a man. Or two.
These days are packed to the very tip top with school and sports and back and forth to church. There was one hour to dry and fold clothes, fix something for dinner, inhale the meal, and get into the car so that we could get to the church by 7:00. The oldest asked if he could play outside.
Many minutes later, I connected the sound I was hearing to a waterfall of pelting rain. I ran into the garage. The very last thing I needed to add to my hour was getting a water logged seven-year-old mopped up and changed into fresh clothing. From the safety of the garage, I called out for him.
He ran from the neighbor's yard, not yet soaked, toothless grin from ear to ear, because few things in life are as joyful as playing in a warm summer rain.
"Can I stay out and play in the rain?" he asked.
"No. We're in a hurry. I don't want you to be soaked and have to change," I answered. Even as I said it I wondered how it all really works. How does time change a person so much? Why wasn't I playing in the rain anymore?
"Okay," he answered, this mostly obedient child of mine. "I have to go in," he called to his friend. We stood there, in the garage, between the cars. Dinner warmed in the oven. Laundry tossed in the dryer. Seconds ticked away on the clock. I think I tilted my head, ever so slightly, as I surveyed the boy. Breathless and speckled with drops of rain, he's as mesmerizing now as he was that very first day. "What?" he studied my face.
"Go," I said.
"Huh?" he responded. "I'll get all wet."
"Go!" I said it urgently, almost as if someone's life depended on it. "Go play in the rain." I watched him for a few moments as he splashed and giggled and twirled. His clothing changed colors, hair plastered flat, laughter laced with the deep joy of a carefree moment. I turned toward the house.
The laundry needed folding. The oven would buzz. Soon.
I padded across the carpet to close the backdoor, left open again by one of them. Bright sun shone down. How could this be? The front yard was a monsoon. In the back, a pelting rain poured down but the star broke through the clouds.
I was eight again.
I ran into the rain and began spinning in all directions. "Surely there is a rainbow!" I declared with urgency. "God, where is it? Where is Your promise?" I asked into the rainshine. I couldn't find one. Not from the limited view of my backyard. But, suddenly, I felt a new pull. Wet, I ran into the house. Sun streamed through the kitchen windows.
"Come here!" I called to my husband. "Come here. My feet are soaking." I waved him to me with a frantic arm, afraid the moment would pass. Terrified that the clouds would hide the sun or the rain would stop. He came to me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his middle so that I wouldn't make wet footprints on the floor. "Take me over there." I pointed to the spot in the kitchen where the sun was coming through. He sat me on the counter and I pulled him to me.
"It's our perfect weather!" I shouted.
He likes sleepy, gray days filled with rain and clouds.
I like warm, vibrant days filled with sunshine and bright colors.
In the middle of our busyness, smack in the center of a mundane day, I found perfect weather--for both of us. Troy smiled and kissed me. Garrett's soaked laugh filled the air as he spun through the yard. A glimpse of God's glory.
And to think, I almost missed it all.