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

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LisaK
LisaK
9 years ago

Awwwwww…This isthe sweetest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

Rachel
9 years ago

oh, you gave me the eye-prickles again. I swear, I am super OK with my kids being older until you go and do something like this.

Kristen
Kristen
9 years ago

That right there is why people have kids. I’m not a crier and I just teared up reading that.
Love.

Randy
Randy
9 years ago

Love the picture you painted with words and the one your son drew equally well. Very nice. Sucks to be wet though.

Jennifer
9 years ago

The sweetest.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
9 years ago

So sweet!

Megan
Megan
9 years ago

Seriously, “it seemed like one was there”, the most awesome compliment ever. And claustrophobic is EXACTLY what it felt like. Like it was pushing at my lungs. I took our dog for a walk during the morning sun and I swear I was grinning like a fool the whole time.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago

This is so beautiful and poignant and touching…I’m sitting here with tears coming down my face. (I have little boys too so this went straight to my heart)

Sadie
Sadie
9 years ago

This is beautiful, especially because these will be the things the boys remember about their childhood. Not that the windows were smeared or that time you were short with them when you were all cooped up…no, this is the kind of thing they will remember.

Staci
9 years ago

I got tears in my eyes when I read this. :)

CA
CA
9 years ago

Oh my god. You can now die happy, amirite? I pray every day that I can get over myself enough to give my kids moments where they feel like that.

Amy
Amy
9 years ago

I repeat what I said yesterday: “I love your writing. Really really really love it.”

Looking forward to reading your novels. (Should you decide to write them.)

Em
Em
9 years ago

The nicest compliment a person could ever get, if you ask me. I need to get someone to mop up this puddle I melted into.

Aubrey
9 years ago

So precious!

Emily
Emily
9 years ago

So sweet. My daughter draws my hair the same way.

Clarabella
Clarabella
9 years ago

How sweet!

Danell
Danell
9 years ago

Oh, did you just dissolve right on the spot? Your boys are just the cutest!

Jo
Jo
9 years ago

Dammit! Tears in my eyes at my desk! Beautifully written and a beautiful drawing :)

Lisa
9 years ago

That’s beautiful!

Annie
Annie
9 years ago

Riley, will you marry me?

Jenny
9 years ago

Look at your pigtails! What a kid! What a mom!

g
g
9 years ago

I feel like I say this every time I comment but man, you are a wonderful writer. Whatever you post is a pleasure to read. Also, Riley is a keeper!

nonsoccermom
9 years ago

Oh, what a sweet kid. I love it!

michelle l.
9 years ago

everything about this is awesome!

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

I loved this. Your openness inspires me to be more fun.

Victoria
9 years ago

Oh! *hugs*

jody
9 years ago

Your posts always get me a little choked up. My boys are pretty close in age to yours and I can so relate to so much of what you write. Love it. You should frame that. :)

NancyB
NancyB
9 years ago

That will become a “remember when …..?” moment!
Love it!

Jess
9 years ago

sniff.

Amanda
9 years ago

Magical

Donna
Donna
9 years ago

My daughter has a saying about teaching your kids to dance in the rain, you did and they will remember. Nice!

jonniker
9 years ago

OMG. I love this.

Robin
9 years ago

The things that matter, the things they will remember — you can never choreograph those moments, but you can run and pant and gasp your way through laughing instead of cursing, and that is the real gift. Thank you for this!

Renee
Renee
9 years ago

TOOOOO sweet. What a darling you have there :)

SJ
SJ
9 years ago

This? This is why we have kids. They say the most honest and innocent things when you need to hear them the most.

sarawr
sarawr
9 years ago

The way you write is just the best kind of gut-punch.

Alex
9 years ago

That is damn fantastic.

KeraLinnea
9 years ago

Oh my god…Tell me you cried, so I don’t feel so silly for crying over this. That is so, so, wonderful.

Nichole
9 years ago

Oh, that’s just crazy-sweet?

Nichole
9 years ago

Ugh, where’d that question mark come from? That was supposed to be an exclamation point. Thanks, cold medicine.

ememby
9 years ago

The sweetest – what a perfect parenting moment! The kind we all hope for when we have our babies!

laziza
laziza
9 years ago

Oh golly.

Olivia
Olivia
9 years ago

That is so sweet! I just took my kids out in a drizzly rain this morning. We’ve been so home bound because of freezing temps, but today it is 60 degrees and regardless of the rain I had to get us out. Tomorrow it will be cold again, but at least we got some fresh air today.

Emma
Emma
9 years ago

Riley has inherited your gift for expressing his emotions beautifully with words (and drawings, to boot!).

liana
9 years ago

Dammit, That was so sweet I cried. At work. Just beautiful Linda!

Sarah
Sarah
9 years ago

just cried.

CharlieSue
9 years ago

BEST.

Her
Her
9 years ago

*sniffle* We all need more Rileys in our lives.

deanna
9 years ago

man, we spend an awful lot of time physically picking up our kids, but it’s pretty awesome when they come in and pick us up every once and a while too…

so awesome.

Betsy
Betsy
9 years ago

Love <3