Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summer Rain

All day the weather forecasters warned of thunderstorms but the day was clear and warm and HH and I had plenty of time to spend at the small mountain lake just a half mile down the road. He’s not yet much of a swimmer but the day’s heat finally got to him and he agreed to crawl up in my arms and wade out into the cold leaf-brown water. He yelped with delight and maybe a smidgen of fear when his feet got wet, then his legs, but when I tried to go a little deeper he stopped me and said that was just far enough and it was time to go back to shore. I persuaded him to stay a little longer but he was insistent so back we went to the narrow dirt beach. He ran to his towel and wrapped himself shivering as if he had just completed a channel crossing and I suppose for him it was something akin to it, our short venture into the dark, vast water. We stayed a while longer then made our way home in time to see the clouds begin to darken and fulfill the promise of a storm we had been all day awaiting.

Thanks to a dear old friend who spent the previous weekend with us, the impending thunderstorm was a little less frightening than previous storms have been. HH still went about his routine of closing all the windows and doors and gathering up his torn blanket and smelly bear but this time his work was measured and calm. Our friend had told him how much she loved the thunder and lightening, how much she looked forward to the pounding rain and purple light of summer storms. We curled up together on the old day bed in the corner of our small front porch and listened. The storm was a calm one as storms go but the rain was steady and we lay there together listening to it for the longest time, saying very little, simply enjoying the warmth and security of our two bodies spooned together staring out the window. Later that night, as HH had just settled into bed, the power went out. I read him his bedtime story by flashlight and soon his eyes were closed, the gentle rattling of the rain outside his window lulling him to sleep.

I sat alone in our dark cabin for another hour or so waiting for the lights to come back on so that I could turn them all off again before I went to bed, with nothing more to pass my time than my thoughts, mostly thoughts of him and how fast he was growing, how even in the course of one summer day he had changed, spoken a new phrase, declared some new variety of independence with his favorite line, “I can do it myself Papa,” just as I was about to lean down and help him with some routine task which he had now learned to do on his own and didn’t need or want my help with anymore.

The sun is just up and I expect he’ll be waking soon, I wonder what today will bring.

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