Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.
(There are many things that would make for a perfect rainy afternoon, depending on who is involved. This little vignette, purely fictional, might be what a family of four would do. While my kids are much older now, this scene may have occurred to me because of the approaching Fathers’ Day.)
“There’s nothing to do,” muttered Alisha, my 6-year-old, “I wanted to play outside, but look at it.” It had been raining most of the morning, and it looked like it would continue all day.
“Why don’t you and Matt hop on the Play Station for a while, and then we will do something special,” I told them. Matt is our 9-year-old, who didn’t mind doing things with his sister, as a default friend. My plan was to buy time to think of just what would be ‘special’ to them. I had also planned on taking a short nap, a delicious pleasure on a rainy day…and so I did.
I woke up a half hour later, already thinking about the kids. I was thinking we could try something my parents did on a rainy day…have an indoor picnic. Still, it was hours until dinner time. It was then that my wife reminded me that she had purchased the latest Disney movie on DVD and had put it away for…yes…a rainy day. Perfect! We popped some popcorn, and the smell had the kids scrambling down the steps to see what was up.
“We’re having a matinee movie,” exclaimed my wife, to the delight of the children. I distributed the popcorn among the bowls and the kids plunked down on the floor, excited for the movie. While the movie was showing, I was sitting close enough to be with the group, and yet far enough that I could read from a novel I was deep into. It seemed everyone was in a good mood that day.
Near the end of the movie, I called in an order for pizza without the kids knowing. As the credits rolled, Alisha said she thought the princess was going to go home to her family. Matt, ever the big brother, assured her that that wouldn’t make for much of a movie ending. Undaunted, Alisha ran over to her mother and gave her a big hug.
“That was special, mommy. Thank you for the movie!”
“You’re welcome sweetheart,” said my wife, “but Daddy’s got something else special planned.” Both children lit up and looked at me.
“Yes, in a few minutes we are going to have a picnic!”
“You’re being silly, Daddy. It’s raining out,” replied Alisha.
“Yup,” I said, “It’s raining cats and dogs!” The kids always got a giggle out of that phrase. “If you’ll help me get the paper plates and napkins, we’re going to have an indoor picnic…in the living room.” Matt looked at me like I had three heads, but then thought that sounded fun. We got out a blanket and laid it on the living room floor, as we would on the grass in a park. By the time we got everything ready, the pizza delivery man was there with the pizza. We ended the picnic with root beer floats. My wife leaned against me and smiled.
“Thanks for a wonderful day,” she said as she kissed me.
“No, thank you!” I replied. “Not bad for a rainy day.!”