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Cats and Dogs

IMG_2951After dinner out one night with my children, it was time to head home on my trusty three wheeled bicycle. It had a wide seat in the back for riding, and a regular seat in the front for pedaling. The kids and I take it all around town shopping or swimming or out to dinner as we had this evening.
However, this evening, when I looked up, the sky was dark and foreboding. I thought we just might make it on the bicycle, when I saw a bolt of lightning and heard a loud thunder clap.
“I don’t dare ride my bicycle in lightning,” I thought to myself. And tried to hail a taxi. But the taxi had parked for the evening, and the driver was having dinner. So I was left with the bicycle.
“Perhaps I can beat the rain,” I thought. And I called my children to get on the back of the bicycle.
I spoke firmly, “We have to hurry home, there is a storm coming.” I popped open my large umbrella and positioned it so it would cover my children.
“We don’t want the umbrella, we want to get wet!” they chorused.
Their wish was granted, and I took off, steering with one hand and holding the umbrella with the other hand.
I had gone only one block when the rain started to come down hard. The wind picked up and I felt the umbrella pulling out of my hand. I clutched harder, and it flipped inside out. I carefully pulled to the side of the bike lane, closed, and reopened the umbrella.
As we neared a large intersection, a bicycle came very close to me from the oncoming bicycle lane, I “Eeeeeeeek”ed aloud and we bumped into each other. The woman got off her bicycle and said something to me very firmly. Then she got back on her bicycle and kept on going. I kept pedaling.
Seeing that I had a green light at the intersection, I really sped up. The green lights actually count down, “4, 3, 2, 1,” so I knew I had to push hard to make the light. Pedestrians lined the bike path and I yelled, “WATCH OUT!” making no real attempt to speak their language. Our umbrellas narrowly missed each other. While I pedaled, the children sang at the top of their lungs, unaware that mommy had almost dragged a few umbrellas along behind her.
Then, from the back seat, I hear, “Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom.” It was Joshua. Soaked through and through, he asked me to pull over so he could relieve himself by some bushes. I couldn’t imagine being any wetter. It probably wouldn’t have mattered a bit if he had just wet himself there on the bicycle. But I stopped for him to relieve himself while the rain came down harder and harder. Hannah’s voice came from the back of the bicycle, “Mommy, I am cold.” And with that, the fun was over.
My umbrella turned inside out again in the final leg of our journey home. I had to make it back now. As I turned down a side street for a short cut, Joshua announced that this was not the way home. But I was on a mission. We turned the corner and pulled into our parking garage. Everything about us was soaked. Hair, shoes, shorts, shirts, and rain dripped from my nose. We went upstairs and took turns taking hot showers, putting on warm pajamas, and crawling into our warm beds.
It had been quite an adventure.