It’s 4.40pm and I’m parked in my bright blue Toyata Rav 4 in what feels like a car wash with water pummelling the windshield just 2 mins away from my house.
It’s been been raining on and off all afternoon. Not just gentle showers but heavy Texas downpour, the sort that puts a power shower to shame. The sort that when we first moved here washed about two wheel barrows of soil down the garden and into the pool.
This led to manic trips into the garden every time the sky opened and rain fell. I would run about soaked to the skin wearing wellies and trying to divert the water with a spade. After a few months we sorted that by building a stream to divert gutter and ground water away from the pool and into the flower bed.
So now when it rains I mostly enjoy watching the tropical size water droplets splash into the pool or the sound of the waterfall over flow from the gutter above the balcony.
Now I actually react to the rain less than Texans. Here, where you can go days or even weeks without rain, rain is a big thing. Water is expensive. Every minute of rain reduces the time you need to run your money burning sprinkler system. Weather forcasters here get as excited about upcoming rain as they do in the UK about a ‘heatwave’ or sunny weekend.
But coming from Wales its hard to get excited about a day of rain. We could go weeks there without a dry day. Although mostly, because of the hills, most days were showers and sunshine. But still there were weeks of grey set in constant drizzle.
Coming home from school my son is also dismissive about the rain.
‘can’t see why everyone in school was making such a fuss about the rain’ he says dripping with water from his 2 minute walk from the bus stop and heads off unfazed to change into dry clothes.
But there is rain and rain and the downpour has intensified into a deluge. My daughters bus is due to drop her off a skin soaking 10 minute walk up the hill from our house. She went to school with a sore throat and streaming nose. I hate to think of her walking through this.
“I’m going to walk up and meet her with an umbrella” I tell my husband who is working from home today.
Looking out of the window, where it now looks like someone is tipping buckets massive of water onto everything, he replies
‘I think you will need something more than an umbrella’ he pauses ‘like a car’.
So here I am sitting in the car waiting for my daughter’s bus. Just then I see its familiar yellow shape in the rear view mirror and hear the recognisable screech of its breaks as it drives past and pulls up ahead of me.
Three children come off squinting into the rain and rush off down the road. Then my daughter. She smiles as she runs to the car. ‘Thank you’ she says as she gets in the front seat shutting the rain outside.
‘No worries’ I say. Because actually its me that’s grateful that I can be here when she needs me. That I can be her mum and look after and shelter her from this rain.
One day she won’t have me – her mum – there to help and I know just how hard that will be.
As the water rushes down the glass and drums on the roof of the car, I think of the many times that my mum protected me from the rain and how she won’t do it again. But I’m the mum right now, so I drive my beloved girl safely home, out of the rain.