Friday, January 22, 2010

Swept Away

"Mommy," my daughter says, "I really want to go outside."

"We can't go outside," I say. "It's raining."

"You've been saying that for a hundred years."

"It hasn't been a hundred years..."

"For my whole life," she says, "for Daddy's whole life, too."

"Let's watch another movie," I say.

"I never want to see another movie again," she says. "We've watched movies forever."

"Not forever," I say, "just this week."

"I want to go outside."

"I'm putting on Sleeping Beauty..."

One hour and forty six minutes later:

"Look Mommy!" My daughter points out the window. "It's a perfect afternoon for a walk!"

"Honey, it's still raining."

"No, I don't think it is."

"What's that, then?" I say. "That wet stuff out there?"

"I don't see anything," she says.

"It's rain."

"Maybe it's just mist?"

"Let's paint a picture. Won't that be fun?"

"It's not healthy that you won't let me go outside," she says. "Four year old girls need to be able to play outside."

"Four year old girls don't play in a winter storm."

"We could have an adventure!" She says. "We could explore exciting Storm Town!"

"Let's paint a picture," I say.

"I'm not happy about this," she says.

Ten minutes later:

"Maybe the parrots need us to bring them a towel, " she says. "The parrots aren't used to all this rain. We can't let the parrots down, Mommy."

"The parrots are fine," I say. "Let's build the biggest block tower we've ever seen!"

"Okay," she says, "that's a great idea."

"It is?" I say.

"And I say we build it outside!"

"We have to wait until it stops raining."

She pauses. Smiles. Hugs me.

"Mommy," she says. "I was just wondering..."

"What is it?"

"Well," she says, "it looks really pretty out there. Do you have a picture for your blog?"

She keeps smiling. She doesn't blink. This is what it feels like when you can no longer paddle and you're finally pulled under.

"I'll get the camera," I say. "You get the umbrellas."


Shanna said...

...and we'll go visit aunt Shanna? She has a great pond out front. One neighbor calls it Lake Galloway. The children put on their rubber rain boois and stomp around in the...uhmm...seasonal pond. The VIEW is great!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Can I join you and "Little Bit" Laurie? I want to stomp in Shanna's pond too?

Mister Earl said...

This is wonderful, Laurie. Little Bit is so bright and clever, and what a wonderful piece of writing. "This is what it feels like when you can no longer paddle, when you're finally pulled under." This is classic.

And the photo has me in awe. There are "palm droppings" all over the streets, and they might make interesting photos in themselves, but you have created a composition with the sqares at the bottom, the band of rough-looking water, the street, and the opposite curb and grass. Just great!

Kaori said...

Your daughter is sweet sweet sweet! I'm sure no one could resist her ;D

Anonymous said...

Laurie, thanks for sharing. That was super sweet and soooooo real. I too just posted for my blog and found myself writing about how this deluge of rain has affected the artistic side of me...I don't think us So Cal'ians are used to this kind of "inconvenience". Great Photo!

Judy Williams said...

"This is what it feels like when you can no longer paddle, when you're finally pulled under."

WOW, like Mr. Earl said - classic. Your writing abilities coupled with your photographic eye is truly an amazing gift.

MY GIRL is such a perfect song to accompany this post.

I adore everything about it.

dbdubya said...

That conversations brings back many memories and reminds me why it's so much fun being a grandparent.

Driving through town the past few days has been an obstacle course, avoiding many palm fronds, branches, and large pools of standing water. But, the worst appears to be over and South Pasadena has fared well. So have the residents below the burn areas where, although many evacuations occurred, no homes were lost.

With all the rain, no one has been playing golf at the Arroyo. But, the groundskeepers were busy raking up huge piles of sycamore leaves that are waiting for someone to haul them away.

altadenahiker said...

I knew she'd win, she's her mother's daughter. (You can come play in my creek.)

Grateful Twin Mom said...

Awwwww, so sweet. She knows how to get Mommy. Love the part about not being able to paddle and being pulled under. Beautiful.

Wayne said...

What a push-over.

dbdubya said...

I think she held out for a long time, Wayne - much longer than a grandfather would have.

Anton Elohan Byers said...

Kudos, Laurie. Not just for today's post, but for the whole that you have created.... What I have loved about your blog from the beginning is that whether I just observe or participate, the experience is like being in the middle of a joyous, rich community potluck dinner of art (including words, of course).

(And not the kind with shredded carrots in lime Jello...)

Susan C said...

This would make a great children's picture book.

alex said...

still chuckling from Wayne's comment...your daughter is certainly a persistent and witty one:) i suppose there's always Amy's Playground on rainy days.

TheChieftess said...

I agree with DBW held out pretty's tough...those little one's figure us out a lot faster and more thoroughly than we do them!!!! Dang...they're always growing and changing!!!

Ditto to Mr. E et al. re: your 'no paddle and being pulled under' line!!!

San Diego Farmgirl said...

I used to pity the fool who messed with Laurie, but now I pity the fool who messes with Little Bit.

Shanna, do you agree? ;o)

dbdubya said...

That's a very good point, Farm Girl. I think Laurie and Little Bit should become a tag-team on the World Wrestling Federation circuit. They'd be unbeatable.

ben wideman said...

I can't wait to be a parent. Thanks for sharing your story today, Laurie!

Virginia said...

L'il Bit has my heart now. Keep the faith. The sun will come out tomorrow! I love your blog LA!

PS GIve her a smooch from "Mumsie"!

Laurie said...

Aw, thanks you guys! I'm still laughing at the idea of the Little Bit and Mommy wrestling team. Nah, not our little love bug. When she was 3 she toddled over to the older boys next door and said, "Why do you play shooting games? Isn't it more fun to snuggle?"

Ben, I can't wait for you and Meredith to meet your little bundle.

YOu guys are awesome. Thanks again for the kind words.

-K- said...

"Maybe the parrots need us to bring them a towel..."


Judy Williams said...

Anton's comments are awesome (especially about the jello) HAHA

Laurie said...

Oh, I meant to say thanks to Anton! He described exactly what I strive to do here. Thanks, Anton! I'm glad you're back with comments, because you are part of our family here.