Tonight's rain

Beren slid off my lap, and said, "Done." He was done nursing and wasn't ready for bed. I've experienced this before. A sleepy child, but not quite sleepy enough. It had been just an hour since I returned from work, anyway. 

He began putting his wooden train tracks together, ones we bought last year at a garage sale for $3. Rather than coax him back to my lap or play trains, I turned off the roaring air conditioner, which we've been running for about a week. None of us like it too much, but our house was built on swamp and rainy stretches followed by heat bring on the mold.

I opened the door to the porch and Beren tilted his head to look outside. Since the air conditioner had been quieted, he could hear the thunderstorm. He approached the doorway and peered out. He stepped out and his hair was quickly matted to his skull.

Rain poured out of the downspout. Jared suggested I remove Beren's shirt. After I did, he ran to the large puddles that formed in our lawn. Rather than coax him back inside, I pulled my dress over my head. I stood in the rain wearing a white tank top and black terry cloth short shorts I bought at Strawbridge's in Philadelphia about ten years ago. We shivered in the cool, evening rain.

Beren ran down the hill to the driveway. Water ran down it. I followed him down the lane. We waded into ankle deep puddles. At the top of the hill, I suggested we turn back towards home. My shirt was soaked, but I told myself that should anyone come down the lane, I'd pick up Beren. He, my naked child, would be my modesty covering.

After kicking through the stilt grass that lines the lane, he said, "Pick up."

I carried him back to the house, wrapped him in a towel, sat down in the armchair we had abandoned a half hour ago, and nursed him to sleep.