Thursday, August 21, 2014

How To Play With Rain

Several weeks ago I introduced the world to our inventive new playhouse, following that up with a report on how the children began to make it their own. I've been traveling ever since, so I've not seen her for some time, but just before I winged away to the land Down Under, we had a terrific opportunity to put her through her paces when the heavens opened and we enjoyed the rainiest single July day on record, most of which fell during the time we played outdoors.

The new playhouse provided excellent refuge as you might expect, but, you know, staying dry is not serious business for Seattle children, so it wasn't long before they were back out under the sky ignoring the liquid sunshine dumping down upon them. 

It's a game, you see, this seeking of shelter, one that mimics the behavior of adults they see in the world, but without the urgency of protecting hair styles or suede.

Case in point, the game moved on from our spacious new shelter to the place where a pair of large wooden crates have come to call home. These are special crates, one was built to transport a sculpture by the late Alexander Calder, while the smaller one was created to move a bronze by the even later Edgar Degas. 

Now they are cubbies or tables or trains for the kids. Today, they served as much more cramped and inconvenient shelters from the storm.

As the grand new playhouse stood empty the children crammed themselves inside, feigning fear of the fat drops that fell from the sky as if the angels spat upon us, twisting and tangling their bodies together, mashing one more in, making room, accommodating, negotiating, and breathing their steamy breaths, mingling them together in a happy, germ-y sauna. This is how to play with rain.

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