Around 9-ish, The Waug started her usual tinkle dance at the back door. Normally, someone opens the backdoor and she goes to handle her business. The difference on Friday night being that it was coming a monsoon. So I told her no, she had to wait.
(Which led to super pouty Waug face)
I had finished my work about then, needed a shower and decided after seeing it had slowed. I’ll just take her out and not worry about getting a little damp. So off we went.
The wind was surprisingly warm, the rain a steady, cool drizzle with no lightening as we made our way down the sidewalk. She gave me several moments of Waugy side-eye as the rain started to wet her to the skin but she eventually got into it and jauntily pranced in the streams of water rushing down the sides of the road.
By the time we reached the end of the street I realized how tight I’d been wound. Like coiled steel tight. I’d had a neck ache for two days that suddenly let go. I stood in the road and turned my face to the black sky and let the rain wash it all away for a moment. Now it wasn’t a quiet walk at all. Choruses of frogs were having a wonderful time singing the praises of the rain. As I turned to go back to the house, the breeze brought a cloud of Honeysuckle. Heavy on the humid air and almost syrupy. The sharp, salty smell of wet asphalt and the sweet and sourness of fresh clay that had been turned over on the lots under construction. Like flipping a switch inside my head, they all added up to one thing.
Spring has sprung and summer is coming.
By this time, the Waug and I had completely passed the point of a simple spray down/towel off with waterless dog shampoo so I figured, what the heck. We went back to the house, grabbed a flashlight, the boys and went frog/critter hunting and mud puddle stomping.
Now by this time you might be wondering where this is all going. I’m glad you asked cause here’s the meat of the story.
Frog hunting, playing in mud, fishing, and all around dirty boy play used to be the main thing my boys did with my dad. It was their thing and I didn’t interfere or try to keep them from every glorious moment of enjoying the activities of the dirty. I had accepted long ago any trip to the ridge would involve some form of muddy shoes, clothes and general nastiness.
I realized as I stood there, face turned to heaven, enjoying the steady caress of water falling on my face that their time with Dad and those activities is truly done. But the boys still need that and it’s my job to handle that now. So we got dirty, laughed at #2 jumping in every dang puddle for two blocks and accomplishing to catch some disgusting little frog that slimed his hands which he promptly “washed” in the drain ditch, Lord help.
They had fun and so did I and I think Dad would have liked that.
My boys will be 16 and 9 in July. More than ever before, I see time with them is speeding by. There will always be deadlines, loads of laundry to fold, dishes in the sink, a list for my list to tell me where my damn list is for all the things I’m supposed to do. But there will only be just a few more nights when all they want is some rain, a flashlight, their Waug and time.
I wish you'd had more time with them, Dad. I promise not to freak out too much when they catch the really gross ones.