Life with a smile

Published 4:42 pm Monday, July 6, 2020

Rain: godsend or curse?


I am feeling existentially conflicted. The last time I experienced this much emotional angst was when I was forced to grapple with my feelings for Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in the Black Panther movie. The man made some good philosophical points and he’s just too beautiful to be the bad guy. Whose side am I supposed to be on, Michael??

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But I digress. 

This week it’s the weather that has me in a dither. Do I embrace the rain or do I curse it? Are the gloomy days and torrential downpours a benevolent gift or a diabolical test? It’s an emotional rollercoaster. 

Let’s start with the downsides. 

It probably goes without saying that rain and quarantined children are not a stellar combination. We’re already climbing the metaphorical walls a bit due to our constrained social environment, but being forced to physically stay inside? I’m pretty sure that’s a violation of the 8th Amendment. 

On a rainy afternoon this week, my younger two children staged a shrieking contest. As the name implies, they took turns seeing who could make the loudest, most high-pitched noises. This was after my son had spent 20 minutes following me through the house shouting “inferno!” at regular intervals, for no apparent reason.

There is also a noticeable uptick in bed jumping, bannister sliding, and overly energetic bathtub games every time it rains. We still venture forth, but the occasional puddle walk just isn’t the same as three or four hours a day my kids usually spend outside in the summer.

So clearly the rain sucks. But there is one huge item that belongs in the “pro” column of this highly scientific side-by-side comparison. 

Rain makes it much, much harder to set off fireworks. 

I confess with shame that I never appreciated just how horrible community fireworks were until this year. I even contributed in a small way to the problem, although I’m so terrified of fireworks that our family never gets anything bigger than a miniature roman candle and a few snaps. 

In previous years, I’d notice the periodic booms in the days leading up to the 4th of July, but they were a minor irritation. But this year I am a dog-mom and am quickly becoming a Fireworks Tiger Mom. My desire to hunt down and pummel every citizen who insists on creating their own private war zone is growing by the night.

Buddy is utterly unfazed by thunderstorms (thank goodness) but he takes issue with fireworks. He understandably assumes that the sound of explosions can only indicate an imminent attack upon his family and he immediately goes into Defender of the House mode. He races from one room to the next, barking loudly, hackles raised. 

This is annoying at any hour, but since the peak window for fireworks is after my children’s bedtime, it moves quickly from annoying to utterly infuriating. Plus, the poor pup is clearly stressed out by the invisible enemy he is called upon to engage. 

Thus, my frustration with the rain is tempered quite a bit by the positive effect it brings for the dog. I wish I could say that rain makes it impossible to set off fireworks but the enterprising folks in the houses behind us are willing to go to great lengths to enjoy nightly pyrotechnics. Even when it’s raining. 

Maybe I can send my kids over to the neighbor’s house to host their next shrieking contest. That’ll teach them.