A Walk After a Storm

We are besieged by storms — last night was the second on a three-night stand — and although our power went out for several hours late Thursday/early Friday, we seem to have weathered it OK. The ground outside the house is soggy and riddle with pools, but none of the water has seeped into the basement (knock on concrete). There are branches and trees and lampposts down throughout the city, but our neighborhood seems to have less than others, and our house is clear of anything serious.

The biggest tragedy is that the playground is too soggy for play, which frustrates the boy and exhausts the parents who can’t take him there. We went for a walk instead, and I pointed out the small carnage to B. as we walked — a branch down there, a fence sagging there. Headaches for the families who own those houses, but nothing shocking enough it make its way to 24 hour news channels and Facebook streams.

B. asked why — why did it rain so hard. Why were there worms on the sidewalks. Why was the ground littered with twigs and small branches. Why were garbage cans capsized. Why couldn’t we stop at the sodden playground. And, perhaps setting a long trend through his why years, I simply said “because.” Sometimes it rains hard. Sometimes the weather doesn’t care what your plans are. He took it in stride, more upset by the explanation that some dogs don’t want to be petted when two different ones were marched by him without a visit.

“All dogs DO want to be petted!” he argued. He thinks that proclamation and repetition is an argument, which he’ll either outgrow or turn into a career in politics.

He didn’t argue about the weather. He just sulked a little about the playground, then ran across the wet lawn to see an excavator move a fallen tree. (Sorry, B. fans – I was too busy keeping the kid safe for photos.)

One the way home he turned his mind to bugs — drowned beetles on the sidewalk, ants regrouping near their flooded holes. He didn’t want to step on any, so we took a winding path around real and imagined bugs, and the many puddles he was suddenly squeamish about treading through until he found a particularly large one a dozen paces from our back door.

More storms are expected throughout the day and the night and the morrow.