Rainy Days

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A six-year-old once told me, “Sometimes a good day can come in disguise.”

I was happy to hear it.

Her comment came at the conclusion of a day that went far different than we had anticipated. There had been big plans for sunny shores with sparkling waters and hours of floaty frolics for her and her three younger siblings. But we woke up in the morning to gloomy skies and the drip, drip, drip of rain. So instead of sun and sand, it was going to be an indoor day at home.

In dejection and disappointment, four little people lined up at the front window, gazing out at a dreary world of wet and gray with hangdog expressions fit to match the dark clouds overhead.

But my mom always used to say that when things go awry, it might not be a problem. It might be an opportunity, if you adjust your perspective to look at it in a different way.

So I thought back to when I was a kid and tried to remember what Mom used to do with us on rainy days, and soon smile-inducing memories came bubbling back.

First up was the fishing game. Together, my kids and I cut fish out of folded paper and made fishing poles with yarn for line, twisties for hooks, and pencils for rods. When I was a kid Mom used to let us use her knitting needles, but I don’t knit, so Ticonderoga writing implements served as our substitute. The kids loved the crafting while we were getting everything made, and then thought casting lines for paper fish from the prow of our sea-faring couch was more fun than real fishing (I agreed—a lot less tangly and no nasty barbed hooks, not to mention bait, plus it’s way easier to clean up). We operated on a “catch-and-release” basis, so the kids could keep fishing for hours, and did. It was a hit!

Next on the agenda were paper airplanes. I was surprised that I couldn’t remember all the fancy flying creations Pops used to fashion from ingenious folding (he’s an Origami Master of paper airplanes), and admit I had to resort to YouTube for some technological memory assistance, but one way or another we got the job done.

Again, big fun. The tarmac of our living-room floor was kept buzzing for many happy hours.

We also mixed in drawing time with markers, lunch and a movie, and of course a favorite stand-by of our family: Play-Doh.

Add a bowl of popcorn and some reading aloud while the rain continued to patter down, with dramatic moments in the story even punctuated by exciting thunderclaps (you just can’t buy that kind of timing), and it was a wonderful day.

I remembered anew why I used to love rainy days so much as a kid.

And at the conclusion of it all, when my daughter remarked that good days sometimes come in disguise, I was also reminded of how great time with young kids can be. Particularly when I can quiet my brain from thinking of the 101 things I need to do (or want to do) and really listen to them. Those little people can be surprising. Their young minds work in interesting ways and I’m grateful for all the insight and humor they bring to life. And I’m grateful for the rainy days that sometimes slow me down enough to appreciate them!


Copyright 2019 Jake Frost

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About Author

Jake Frost is the author of The Happy Jar, (a children’s picture book), Catholic Dad, (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire, and a book of poetry, From Dust to Stars. He is a lawyer in hiatus, having temporarily traded depositions for diapers and court rooms for kitchens to care for his young children. He comes from a large family in a small town of the Midwest, and lives near the Mississippi River with his wife and kids.

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