The forecast said rain for Sunday. Drizzle to start the day. High of 10. Winds. And fog. Lots of fog. I sent Brody outside early with the dogs, fearing a drizzly day might mean there would be no other opportunity for them to have a romp. Brody grumbled his protests but I insisted, holding firm for once. Breakfast would be ready when he returned, I told him, using a tone made famous by exasperated mothers everywhere. He could spend the rest of the day bunkered down inside if he wished, I offered as he headed for the door, just give the dogs a good walk. I hated being the heavy. I hated having to negotiate with an 11 year-old so early in the morning. I hated a lot of things, I thought as I looked out at the gloomy morning. It had rained most of last week and the coming week would bring more of the same. It was going to be one of those days.
The bologna, eggs and toast were growing cold. No sign of my kid. I stepped outside. No rain yet. I listened. The sounds of boys, the whole lot of them it seemed, in the centre of the harbour. Other like minded mothers had sent their young out early before the rains fell, I thought to myself. Good, I wasn’t the only wickedly cruel mother.
Since the rains were holding off I stuck my rugs on the fence and swept the floors.
The dogs and boy returned, breakfast was reheated then scoffed down by a lad no longer surly, his plans for a day spent inside forgotten. There were soft air guns to be loaded and secret missions to be completed. My porch was packed with boys who, this time last year, seemed to fit perfectly in my tiny landing. They now left little room to maneuver past. Little brothers, too young or too annoying to tag along last year, pushed their way inside, fearful they would miss something. “Outside,” I said to anyone who had a body part in a place that kept my door from closing. I wasn’t trying to be mean, just practical. I was prepared for a miserable day and I felt chilled from the inside out. I didn’t want the door left hanging. Not today.
But the door refused to listen. The boys weaved in and out. Extra amo was kept on a chair in my hallway and the lads kept popping in to reload. “Can’t you leave that outside,” I moaned, motioning to the multi-colored bb’s that completely hid my cushions. “Or use your pockets, ” I scolded all within ear shot. I was talking to myself.
The young gangsters retrieved butter knives, plastic drinking glasses and things I was best off not knowing about on their quick pit stops inside. I gave up, turned off the furnace and put on a sweater.
The shoot ‘em up lasted all morning. Everyone survived. Somewhat. One youngster took a direct hit, (accidentally on purpose I believe; I know what its like to have a younger sibling) but his older brother told him Nan would be mad if he told. She would take the pistol away. For good. No more gun games. The lad bravely wiped his tears-and his nose- onto the sleeve of his jean jacket. No doubt thoughts of his no-nonsensical grandmother helping to speed up the drying process. I thought-briefly- about making a phone call to the woman myself, but recalled how good it felt not be told on- even when you should be. Since the battle seemed to be winding down I decided to forget about it- unless asked. Besides, I had only walked to the window to check for rain. It was only chance that I spied the near maiming.
I looked at the sky. Still no rain. But it couldn’t be far off. With the lads now off on another outport adventure, (sans guns) I cuddled down for a nap.
The rain would make for a restful afternoon snooze.
Or so I thought. It was too hot to get comfortable. At first I blamed the pregnancy, but a quick glance outside proved that wasn’t it at all. Sun. Full on sun. I walked outside and felt the heat on my face. I took off my sweater and shed the attitude. I couldn’t spend anymore time waiting for this rain. I checked the outside temperature. 21 degrees. The rest of the day had to be enjoyed. Brody and I loaded up the dogs and the rubber dingy and headed for the pond. We explored a beavers dam and Brody went for a late afternoon swim. I thought about getting in myself, but worried that the spring chill still in the pond might not be great for the baby in my tummy. But I wanted to get in. Badly.
We stayed by the pond till the flies grew thick. Sure sign of rain, I thought. We headed home. My rugs were still out.
The other boys were waiting as we pulled into the drive. Guns drawn.
I didn’t see my boy again till dusk, chased in, he said, by rain. I stood in the doorway to see for myself. Only drizzle really. I tried to send him back out to end the day as it had begun, with a romp in the playground with the dogs. He started to protest, so I slipped on my sandals. I would do it myself, I told him. It was still warm, though the winds had certainly picked up. The light drops felt refreshing, like salt water spray on a pleasant afternoon boating trek. The door opened behind me. Brody. “I’ll do it mom,” he said, reaching for the youngest pup.
We walked the dogs together that Sunday night, enjoying those light, late spring rains. What I had been waiting for all day had finally arrived. I just had no idea that when it finally came it would be so pleasant.