It was going to rain, I knew it.
I stood on the front porch by the garage door and watched the mist curling over the hills. The puddles reflected a cloudy sky. The thought of arriving at school cold, wet, and muddy kept me from even starting to get my bike out. “Mom?” I called back into the house. “Can I have a ride to school?”
“A ride?” Mom came to the screen door, frowning. “It’s all done raining, the ground is just wet. Avoid puddles, give yourself extra time to break, if you have to go through a puddle go slow.”
“But Mom, look,” I pointed to the sky. “It’s going to rain again.”
“No it won’t,” Mom said, disappearing back into the house. “I checked the radar.”
But the air said rain. The screen door banged behind me as I followed Mom back in. “Can I have a ride, please?”
IN the kitchen, one of my brothers spread peanut butter on his triple-decker sandwich while the other one watched little figures move from hex to hex on his computer screen in his favorite battle game simulation.
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t want to get wet,” I said.
“You won’t unless you plow through a puddle,” Mom told me. “There won’t be any more rain until mid-morning. The next cloud bands are miles out to sea. Do you want to see the radar?”
“Show me the radar,” I said.
I followed Mom up to her bedroom where her computer screen displayed a weather report. In the corner, a colorful map of our area showed a bright orange, yellow and green cloud band out at sea. Mom clicked the “play” icon and the cloud began to move toward the coast, slow and steady but still a long ways away.
Maybe Mom was right.
But then, another band of green formed between us and the coming cloud, just at the last second. When the animation stopped it hung there, right along the beach.
Mom played the animation again.
“look at that,” Mom said, tracing the new cloud band with her fingernail. “I guess you were right.”
Back downstairs, Mom announced, “The boys need a ride to school. It’s going to start raining again any minute.”
“I can take them,” Dad said. “Call the neighbors and see if they want a ride.”
A few minutes later, my brothers, my Dad, and the two neighbor kids all stood on the front porch, watching a downpour.
“Ready to run for the car?” Dad asked, almost laughing at the rain.
“Thanks for insisting on a ride to school,” Mom said to me through the screen door. “If you’d left on your bike, you’d be getting soaked right now.”
“I can smell rain, Mom,” I said. I had known it was coming.