We started our Monday with a 7:30 a.m. visit from a roofer who gave us another guesstimate on how much it would cost to repair the leak in our family room. Unfortunately, he agreed with the previous guy that it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500. This fellow was very polite, though. He kept asking if he had come too early. Clearly, he doesn’t have kids.
When the roofer left, I thought I might run some errands with my 2-year-old and 5-year-old twins, since I’ve had such success with this arrangement in the past. The first stop was the supermarket. Enough said. Then we went to Super Cuts, which I'll admit is kind of a depressing place to begin one’s week. As my son was getting his tangles trimmed – his twin sister jittering around his chair and my 2-year-old squiggling on the floor to Technotronic’s “Shake That Body” – the deluge started.
If you’ve watched AMC’s “The Killing” (if you haven’t, don’t bother), you know that every time it rains on the show, supposedly set in Seattle, it looks like Hurricane Katrina. My brother told me that this is because the rain machines they use cannot produce drizzle but only sheeting storms. That’s actually what we tend to get here: flash flooding that dams up roads, overwhelms gutter systems and forces even the most feeble minded to have at least one sump pump. That’s the sort of flash flooding we had this morning.
Holding hands, my kids and I darted the eight steps from Super Cuts to the minivan. We got soused. My son whined on the ride home that he was feeling “pretty wet,” and my children shed their sodden shoes and socks, filling the van with a high-school-locker-room aroma. Rain lacerating my windshield, I tried to steer us safely through wading pool-sized puddles, worrying all the while about our leaking skylight and my hardwood floor.
“Grab your shoes and run,” I hollered when we pulled up to the house. My 5-year-old daughter managed this maneuver with grace. Her twin brother was not so lucky. He dropped one KEEN into the river rushing between our vehicle and the sidewalk, and the shoe went shooting away. Holding my screaming 2-year-old sideways, I gave chase and managed to nick the KEEN from the current a block down in front of the elderly couple’s house.
Of course, as soon as I had helped the kids out of their wet clothes and ferried in the last bag of dripping groceries, the sun burst from the clouds like a jeer.