Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rainy days

T.S. Elliot was right - April is the cruelest month. It’s been raining all week, and I’m not a fan of the rain. At least not in early spring, when it’s still cold, so when you’re wet from the rain, you’re soaked to the bone with a chill you can’t shake.

Not surprisingly, the rain doesn’t faze my four-year-old. Little Miss is happy to run out in her raincoat and wellingtons to jump from puddle to puddle. On our way to school this week, she did just that. In my rain boots, I decided to join her.

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Huh. Whaddya know? I liked it.

Maybe it’s her infectious glee, because for a moment there, I was able to forget my prissy little self and just go with the flow. Jump. Jump. Splash. Giggle. Giggle. Spy another. Run to it. And repeat.

Going with the flow.

That made me think of all these other times this week - or this month? - that we’ve had to pivot unexpectedly to deal with unpredictability. Rain? Puddle jump. Daddy missed his flight home? Find a way to keep the girls up (hello, The Sound of Music!) to surprise him.

I feel like this month is all about working around work. My Guy has been putting in mad hours for a client who seems to have an insatiable appetite for change, but it’s the kind of work he enjoys so it’s great for him, great for our bank account, but it’s also disruptive to family life.

Some days, the girls and I hardly see him. And while that’s less than ideal, I also understand that this is part of the life we chose. Even though we left our corporate jobs to spend more time with the family, we aren’t guaranteed a steady flow of clients that would keep our bills paid.

When work comes, we put in our best effort because when the well of clients run a little dry, which can certainly happen, we can spend that time with family and not have to worry about an empty bank account.

Right now, we’re paying our dues - he, slogging away at work; me, trying to juggle my own freelance work, which is flourishing now, and keeping it all together for us at home. Sometimes succeeding, sometimes, not so much.

But most days, we just make do with what we have.

Like, after a week of long hours at work, My Guy took off a little earlier on a fine spring day so we could all go to the playground and enjoy the sunny day together.


Or when he did get to work from home and not travel from meeting to meeting, he took advantage of the ability to shut down for a little bit to take his girls out for a meal and to the beach. After tucking them in bed for the night, he went right back to slaving on his computer. Until 3a.m. On a Friday night.

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But sometimes, he’s at the complete mercy of others’ schedule, and can’t make it home to see his girls. That’s when I brought one of them to surprise him at work instead.

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Spring break devoured by deadlines? Let’s create one of our own at home. These new swimsuits look far better on the girls than off them, hidden in the closet.

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We find a way. We make do.

Rainy days may be hard, but I’m learning that as long as there’re rain boots, there’s always a puddle or two waiting to be discovered. And since it’s often followed by joyful laughter, how bad could that be?

April also marks the awakening of life after a winter’s hibernation. Gone is the biting cold air, and the sunshine we see is also the one we can really feel. The kind that allows us to shed our layers and walk barefoot in the sand.

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When I’m home, I can leave the windows open while a gentle breeze and soothing sounds from a nearby wind chime pour into my living room.

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Sure, it rains a lot in spring and it may be uncomfortable, but it’s the good kind of discomfort, because in the end, that’s how the flowers and verdant fields come to life.

And in between those life-giving rainy days are ones where kids are happily swinging at the park, giggling and growing, as they face the light of the sun.

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