After the oh-so-hot, humid, smoky summer, the first rainfall
was a blessing. It watered the parched earth, delighted growing things, cleaned the air, and brought joy to our residents. I purposely walked without a hat to experience those precious drops running down my face. The years fell away. I felt like a naughty child.
While relishing the much-needed rain, I thought of other walks taken years ago in Los Angeles where droughts could last for years. It didn’t make sense to buy boots for the children. They were rarely needed. I’d just wrap plastic bags over their shoes and out we’d go to either walk or splash about in the water, and sometimes sail hand-made paper boats.
On one such walk with 4-year old Susan, who loves every creature that flies, walks, crawls or slithers, she was worried. Dozens of worms were out because of the rain.
“The sidewalk must hurt their little pink bellies,” she fretted, as she gently picked each worm off the cement and placed it onto the soft grass of the parkway. I like thinking of that rainy day.
Which reminds me of the morning 3-year-old Susan woke up and
was crying. Concerned, I ran to her room. It seems the night before, she’d carefully placed a green bug to sleep in her bedside table drawer. Of course, the bug was nowhere to be found. She was distraught. Tears flowed. Seeing her so upset tugged at my heart. I knew it was useless, but what to do? I found myself crawling on the floor with her ‘looking’ for her ‘green buggy’. Well, what would you have done? Finally, the child had to settle for a hug.
There was also the time her kindergarten teacher had a container full of crickets to feed to a lizard. Susan decided the crickets must be unhappy cooped up in a
little carton. She turned them loose. This resulted in absolute chaos. Children, terrified of the little creatures, screamed, ran around and jumped up and down on chairs and desks — that is — all except Susan, who delighted in having given the crickets freedom and loved seeing them going off in all directions. Then, those crickets had to be gathered when/if possible. Oh, dear. (I learned about this adventure through a complaint from Susan’s suffering teacher.)
Another day Susan came home from school, again in tears, because she
had found a ‘cute family’ of cockroaches to bring to her beloved mother. A ‘mean’ boy slapped them out of her hand and stomped on them.
‘It’s okay Susie,’ I said hearing her tale of woe, ‘Perhaps they’re alright and he just took them to HIS mother.’ I doubt I ever told Susan how relieved I was those little critters hadn’t made it to our home.
Talking about bugs, once on the way to school ((Kindergarten again) Susan
picked up every snail she saw. They, too, come out when it rains. She arrived at school with her pockets full of snails, and snails crawling all over her coat. Her poor teacher gave her an empty shoe box, and all the snails were saved and brought home to lucky me. I wasn’t that thrilled with this gift, we had a garden, but what can you say to a child who treasures every creature.
Enough rain stories. Stay well and enjoy each day.