“For after all, the best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This morning when we woke up it was still pouring rain and unpleasantly cold. I wanted nothing more than to pull the covers over my head. No adulting today, please. But oh so much to be done. I worked as best I could to navigate my way through an incredibly confusing application for the zoning board for our renovation of the second floor while trying to keep all three children happy and alive (I’m convinced toddlers are on a constant mission to kill themselves.) And that’s right, we’re renovating again. Glutton for punishment. Addicted to adventure.
The list is a mile and a half long of documents, photographs, and notarized forms one has to gather to beg permission of the city to renovate. I felt as though my head were going to explode and I’m pretty sure I went cross-eyed a few times looking over the checklist. They make it clear that if one t isn’t crossed or i dotted, they won’t even look in the direction of your application.
Despite the cold, bitter rain, I collected my children and headed out to get a form notarized at the bank. Navigating big outings or even sometimes little outings with so many little humans is overwhelming. The first hurdle involves getting everyone to not only put on their clothes but to keep their clothes on, emerge from the house, move just far enough away from me so that I can walk, yet all the while staying close enough so that I can hold hands and keep everyone in check. Crossing streets, weaving in and out of cars as we tackle parking lots and dodging rain.
We invade the bank and I plop the children down in front of the woman’s desk who will be notarizing my form. They charm her by complimenting her trinkets and pictures that fill her desk. I pick up on a sign that she is also from the south and make small talk about the Gulf Coast. Just as fiercely as we entered, I scoop everyone up and disappear out into the rain.
We need lunch so it’s back to bobbing and weaving through yet another parking lot until everyone pours into the cafe. My three kids are a force, bouncing around and paying no mind to lines or other people’s personal space. We manage to order everyone’s food, collect a food buzzer and boxes of milk. After walking a full lap around the cafe and giving stink eyes to all of those selfish people who have taken up an entire booth with just ONE body while I struggle with 3 kids jumping and hanging off of me, I give up on seating on the main floor. My crew moves downstairs and into a table that just barely fits us. We have to squeeze chairs and baby seats in so that we all have a spot. And just as everyone sheds their coats and sinks into their seats to resume their never ending game of “whatever imaginary world we have cooked up with these Legos in our hands” , before I can even rest my bones for half a second, the food buzzer alerts me that the food is ready. Of course there are no trays to carry four full plates of food downstairs, so a kind employee helps brings a few plates down with me, all the while making fun of how hard it must be to have all these plates, all these kids, and sit downstairs! Sigh. yes.
We get a few bites in our bellies and despite the struggle to get to this moment, we are here and everyone is happy, eating, and safe in one place. I listen to the boys discussing robots and glance down at my daughter’s eager face as she surveys the table for what she can try to eat today. I love this moment. One tiny calm moment when I can really see my kids and my heart swells. Just like the rain in April, parenting (and adulting) is relentless. But, just like those showers, the hard work of parenting will blossom into magical moments that make it so worth it.
And if you know me, I of course, took a picture.