in which we leave our neighborhood in the evening for the first time in months

March 24, 2011

my kids and i decided to have an adventure today, actually leaving our neighborhood after 4 pm and going out to eat with some dear friends. earlier in the week, this seemed like a great idea. i think the sun may have been shining when we made the plans…

but we are not wimpy about the weather, generally speaking. we play outside in muddy, rainy weather and we are happy to come in sopping wet. we walk or take the bus everywhere we have to go in all sorts of conditions, and we often choose a longer walk over a transfer to another bus just for fun.

somehow today i experienced my first claustrophobic-grey-portland-skies-are-crushing-my-soul moment as we were riding our bus in the 4:30 pm gloom. i’ve lived here for more than two years now and i had never felt that encroaching misery before.

getting off the bus and skipping twelve blocks in the rain to the restaurant to arrive wet and with happy, bouncy, thoroughly weather-ed children in tow helped some. deciding i was a dog and shaking my head to dry myself (and get my children more wet, if that were possible) as revenge for “you look like you washed your hair in the restaurant’s kitchen sink, mama!” helped a little more. the arrival of friends and the eventual first sip of coffee at 5:20 pm or so helped a lot more.

i haven’t had coffee much lately, preferring the caffeinated drinks with the more healthful glow associated with them (green tea or mate, for those keeping score at home).

so of course i got manic and let the kids each get their own dessert (oldest son: big slice of irish oatmeal cake, youngest son: tiny vanilla sea salt caramel truffle… and both were quite pleased). and have a tiny diluted spoonful of my coffee (they like to drink milk with a dash of coffee… not something i usually encourage;). and then they got manic and we had a good dinner with our friends (i think i may have even had an Adult Conversation (if that isn’t trademarked yet, i have dibs on it!)) who walked the twelve blocks back to our bus with us, the three kiddos skipping ahead and knocking each other down and laughing and really?

we live here for the friends, not the weather, and i’m glad we braved the drips once more to see a pair of them, and i’m glad that the kids all seem to have oil-covered-duck-feathers for skin. they will strip their coats right off and quack and laugh in the “worst” of weather.

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