The rain seemed to dance from the sky, even harder than before. It bounced from our roof and down to the pavement, hitting everything in between. The grill, our metal outside fireplace, and even my little sister and our dog.
My sister, Zoey, was nine. She wore a waterproof jacket over a blue tank top and shorts that weren’t visible from under the jacket. The ends of her hair escaped from the hood. In all honesty, the jacket wasn’t doing much good. She was soaked from head to toe.
Our dog, Sienna, was a brown Labrador Retriever. We called her brown dog. She was soaked as well, all of her hair was slicked down against her body.
Zoey jumped and kicked at the puddles, amused as brown dog chased and nipped at the upchucked water.
I smiled. They were such a quirky couple.
Brown dog barked, lightning flashed, Zoey jumped into a puddle.
After a few seconds, of watching brown dog chase the droplets, thunder sounded. Zoey squealed with joy.
“Sarah, Sarah! Did you hear that?” She yelled from across the yard.
I laughed, how could I not hear that? “I sure did!”
She laughed again, did a cart wheel in the rain then skipped her way up to the covered porch where I was sitting, making sure to stomp in every puddle along the way.
“This makes me so happy!” She yelled over the rain. “I’m gonna play in the rain all the time when I grow up!”
Again, I laughed. I thought that about myself too when I was nine years old. “You do you, sweetie, but don’t bring the dog in the house!” I realized I sounded like my mom.
She laughed and skipped off again. The rain proceeded to become heavier.
She kicked at another puddle and the dog chased after the air born water.
The motion caused Zoey’s hair to flip back around her head and get stuck to her face, despite the hood that covered her hair.
She made a noise of distress, then decided to take the jacket off entirety, now realizing it wasn’t preventing her from getting wet.
The dog barked at a puddle, getting Zoey’s attention. She jumped into it, creating a splash that Sienna jumped happily after.
Good grief, I thought, shaking my head. Then, to my horror, Zoey picked up a handful of mud and threw it for the dog to catch.
My eyes widened “Zoey, don’t do that!”
She looked at me with her big brown eyes. “Why?” She asked simply.
“Because we’re gonna have to wash the dog if you do. We already have to dry her off.” The rain began to let up a little.
“Oh,” she said, looking down at the mud she was stepping in, all energy gone in disappointment. “I’ll bathe her!” And just with that conclusion, all her energy was restored and she was back to throwing mud at the dog.
She moved so quickly that I didn’t have time to intervene. I sighed, deciding that it wasn’t worth it to ruin her fun.
Lightning flashed again. The sliding door rolled open, thunder sounded.
My mom laughed, seeing Zoey playing with the dog. “You know, when you were that age, I would have never let you do that.”
I gaped at her, “Then why are you letting her?”
She laughed again, sitting down on the other wire porch chair. “I was so paranoid with you. I didn’t want you getting dirty or sick.” She leaned back and lit a cigarette. It didn’t take long for the fumes to reach my nose. “I remember once, your grandmother took you from me and sat you down right in the middle of a mud puddle. I was horrified.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at that, I was her first child. I guess it’s a good thing Zoey is able to experience this, even if I wasn’t able to at her age.
The nine year old squealed with delight, the dog barked, lightning flashed.
I looked back over to my sister and our dog. Days like these always made my mind stop racing. A weird sense of clarity washed over my muddled imagination, and I was able to just enjoy the moments as they came. Anxiety lifted itself from my chest, and I could breath normally again.
I relaxed my shoulders, Zoey did a cart wheel, thunder sounded.