The Glory of the rain

We’ve lived in a drought, interrupted by periods of intense flooding, for several years now.  The weather is messed up for everybody, and this is our bit.  So Friday afternoon, when the sky opened up and started dumping rain by the bucketful, there was reason to celebrate.  I was working from home, so I got to see people rushing home during the interruptions between three very intense thunderstorms that blew through the area.  I think Rob spent most of the three in his truck, trying to get home. 

But, rain does something to people in a drought.  It makes them more relaxed and happy.  I saw small children being allowed to splash in driveways when there was just a drizzle and I saw people standing in front of their doors, just watching the rain come down. 

We’ve had spring rains, but nothing this intense.  This rain washed the mulch out of flowerbeds.  This rain moved debris.  And, it left everything feeling and smelling clean.  Rain intense enough to run off and drain into the reservoirs for our summer water; not enough to fill, but certainly enough to notice.

Friday wasn’t all of it, tho.  It rained most of Saturday, too.  I spent most of the day in my sunroom, enjoying the sound of the rain and an audio book and my hexie hand piecing.  It was glorious.

Sunday brought a quick shower and then sunshine and a humidity that let you see the actual water, suspended in the air.  Brutal humidity. 

And mud.  Everywhere, the mud. 

But, today should be wonderful.  The humidity lower, and sunshine, and the ground is starting to firm up so you can step on it.  And I’m going to be spreading mulch.  Sydney and I.  She will be helping.

We are walking the fine line at our house between rewarding for the A’s and punishing for the first skipped class that we’ve found out about.  Apparently, she walked out of class without permission one day and never came back, and the teacher marked her unexcused absent.  I seriously doubt it is the first time. 

And, I’m personally balancing this with my senior year, when I skipped first period typing with Mrs. Biddy N. every Monday because I knew my Mom would be away from the phone and all I had to do was delete the message from the answering machine before she got back.  (sorry, Mom.  I think you know about that.)

She’s bored in class while the teacher tries to help the students that are struggling to make their good grades.  And, she likes to talk and play.  Which probably isn’t helping those kids that are struggling.  Anyway, she had a half dozen end of year projects that she’d fallen behind on and has spent the weekend catching up…and today, she’s mine. 

Gonna work that child like a rented mule.

But, ever mindful that all I want from her is some sign that she knows she did something wrong and truly regrets it.  So far, all I’ve gotten is defiance and nonchalance.  And, I hate that she’s taller than me now because she gathers herself up and looks down her nose at me as though I were the most despicable, unfair, despotic parent in all of the history of parenting. 

I’ve learned that it does no good to yell at a teenager.  Their lives are spent loud.  When I want her to listen, I get very quiet and make her lean in to hear what I’m saying.  I speak very clearly and with great pronunciation, but quiet as I can be. 

She beat me at my own game the other day.  I told her that I wouldn’t be able to hear anything that she said until she said “I’m sorry”.  Two days later, I gave in because it was clear that I wasn’t getting what I wanted by demanding it. 

But, today, she’ll have to spend the day with me.  And, talk to me.  And be nice to me. 

She’d probably prefer it if I could give her a spanking. 

I wrote lots of stuff there, and I’m not taking it out because most of it is funny.  But, to be fair to her, after I finally convinced her that all I wanted was contrition, I could tell that she was taking steps to show me that she was regretful, even if it didn’t take the form of an actual apology or acknowledgement of what she’d done wrong.

We’re half way there.

So, how did we balance it?  A trip to buy hair products (lots of hair products) in the middle of a day spent doing chores and writing essays.  The reward for what we want came in the midst of the abundance of what we don’t want; attention drawn to how far behind she’d fallen in just a couple of weeks. 

And, while she wrote, I quilted the May Linus quilt.  The April Linus quilt still isn’t bound, but hey.  I’ll get there. 


Rob put in a marathon of a series we wanted to catch up on and I quilted Maple leaves.


Everybody have a great Memorial Day.  Remember the soldiers, still fighting to defend the rights of others in faraway lands and remember those who fell, defending the freedoms we enjoy today.



Unknown said...

I am totally in love with the plaid quilt.

Kath said...

" I spent most of the day in my sunroom, enjoying the sound of the rain and an audio book and my hexie hand piecing. It was glorious."

Lane it sounds like my idea of heaven.

I also love that plaid quilt, is says cosy, cared for, homey and snuggly.

Michelle said...

You are a wonderful parent. I would bet Sydney already realizes that, but if she doesn't, I KNOW someday, she will, and she will love her children in the same way. Good job.

lw said...

I agree with all of the comments above.

Just a note, though, I remember being bored in classes. Sydney gets it on the first take, and they go on for 10-20 minutes making sure everyone else gets it. If I knew what the homework was, I did it then. Otherwise, I used the time to write notes to my friends, draw cartoons and write poetry. I never skipped classes, my mom had a heart condition and enough troubles without me adding to them.

Elizabeth said...

When you live in the desert, every drop of rain is a miracle. I love rain!

Parenting is the toughest job you'll ever love. My kids are officially out of school for the summer. And it is going to be interesting, to say the least. Trying to balance between work and play is always a trick.

LOVE your linus quilt. HST's are so versatile.

xo -E

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Forgot to say that Grasshopper is a good 2" taller than me now, and I kind of hate that too. One time when he was annoyed with me, he tried to shove me with his shoulder as he walked past (you know how kids to to intimidate each other in the halls at school). I've got a good 90 pounds on him, so it didn't have nearly the effect he wanted. I think I'm going to start wearing heels all the time now, just to get that bit of leverage being taller than your kid gives you back.

Anonymous said...

Lane, you are doing fine. Sydney, you listen to Lane and Rob who love you very much. Rob, you keep on loving Lane and Sydney. You all (is that an Americanism?), you hang in there and do your best to hang in together. I am a secondary school teacher in Scotland. It is not so different here! Everybody needs to know that someone cares that they make the best that they can out out of the one chance that they know that they have in life: this one!

quiltermom said...

Here I thought I was the most despicable parent...and I so hate that my son can look down on me. Guess the secret with my kids is to let them know that I will always be there for them no matter what, no matter how hateful they are acting. And lots of deep breathing, weed pulling, and quiet sewing time. Stay strong about school, its a lot different than when you used to skip class. There are so many ways for a teenager to get in trouble when they are not where they are supposed to be.