For two weeks it was cold and grey outside, the air filled with a dense fog. The weather guy called it a temperature inversion, brought on by warm sunny skies on the coast. People were tweeting scenes from the top of nearby mountain ranges. “Above the clouds!” the photo caption would read, with barely restrained frenzy. Or “Finally found the sun!” Every picture looked like it was taken out the window of a plane: a seemingly impenetrable layer of grey-white cotton batting spread flat beneath the incongruous shock of empty blue sky.

January in the Northwest is never cheery but this fog, my god. After a while it made me feel claustrophobic, like the air itself was pressing down on me. Being home all day didn’t help, the sunroom off the back of the house — uninsulated and too cold to sit in this time of year — felt like an unwanted barrier between the increasingly shrinking living room and the backyard. The only way to look outside is through another room. Like being in a fishbowl, forever looking for a place to build up some speed but finding only curved glass.

On Saturday the sky was grumpy and unsure of itself. It rained then the sun came out then it rained again. Light filtered through the house and held every smear and fingerprint and dusty surface in sharp relief. I should clean, I thought. “Put your coats on, guys,” I said.

We walked to the nearby park in full sunshine, walked down the busy street by the Safeway under gathering clouds, and when we were maybe half a mile from home the rain came in earnest. We ran down the street, stopped under the cover of a church doorway, ran on. Dylan’s face flushed into three perfectly round spots: his cheeks, the tip of his nose. We panted and gasped and laughed. My jeans soaked through and clung unpleasantly, my hair worked free of its ponytail and slapped wetly against my neck. The boys’ eyelashes stood out in wet spikes. “This is RIDICULOUS!” Riley shouted, delighted. We ran through puddles that danced at the surface.

Later, Riley drew me a picture of our outing. “Here,” he said, a little shyly, shifting back and forth on his feet. “I know we didn’t see a rainbow but it seemed like one was there.”

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 4.00.16 PM


72 Responses to “It seemed like one was there”

  1. kendra! on January 29th, 2013 7:28 pm

    Please frame this in platinum. The museum of your life is really awesome. Love to visit as long as I don’t have to stand behind the velvet rope.

  2. Amber on January 29th, 2013 9:04 pm

    That is so incredibly sweet.

  3. Angela on January 29th, 2013 9:40 pm

    Aw, that is the best thing ever. What a sweet boy Riley is, and what a wonderful memory to treasure.

  4. rachel on January 29th, 2013 10:18 pm

    so lovely.

  5. Tia on January 30th, 2013 9:24 am

    That is awesome.

  6. Kelly on January 30th, 2013 9:32 am

    That right there is proof that it’s always better to put off the cleaning! :) Do you ever look back and think of the fond memories of scrubbing? This is a keeper to print out and keep with his picture of the day. :)

  7. Stacy H-W on January 30th, 2013 3:35 pm

    Don’t you just love those “perfect” moments when things are really perfect but seem like it? This is definitely something to scrap. (if you still do that)

  8. Maggie on January 30th, 2013 3:39 pm

    I love this, it is so purely innocent and sweet! Wisdom beyond his years…I definitely needed this today :)

  9. Amy N on January 30th, 2013 5:19 pm

    sniff….why do kids always know exactly what to say without knowing they know?

  10. Maureen on January 30th, 2013 8:00 pm

    I just read this to my husband, and we are both in tears. As empty nesters-I can tell you with some kind of authority-these are the moments a parent’s life is made of. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Jennifer on January 31st, 2013 3:33 pm

    Riley even drew the rainbow colors in the correct order. Way to go R!

  12. Lori on January 31st, 2013 4:50 pm

    His quote gave me tears! I realize I don’t know you guys personally, but I really adore your family. You guys are so intentional about parenting those boys and making great childhood memories for them. I love it.

  13. Laura Diniwilk on January 31st, 2013 5:10 pm

    Looks like Riley inherited his mom’s way with words :)

  14. gen on February 2nd, 2013 5:11 pm

    that just made me cry. <3

  15. Lori on February 3rd, 2013 1:37 pm

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for years now. I’ve always thought you were a good writer. This post & the one before? Wow. Really. You are a *great* writer.

  16. Diane on April 5th, 2013 1:12 pm

    Was just looking back to see if I had missed any of your entries and this one didn’t sound familiar…so I decided to check it out…and now I am sitting here in tears with a smile in my heart…your writing is amazing and I’m sure you know that your children are also amazing.

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