I’m sitting in our game room, Elijah in bed, Jeremiah sprawled on the couch next to me, yawning and comfy. The rain outside is pouring down over our street, over our small town, washing away the grimy trash, making the ugly cars gleam under the sheets of effortless water.
I am longing for Maxine, missing her spindly legs lying over my own much less spindly ones, her tiny hands looking endlessly for crevices of flesh to dig in to. The thunder and lightning are beyond my windows, filling the night with a drama much adverse to the calm of our quiet house.
Maxine hated the rain as an infant. She would cry in terror if it would hit her baby head and she would shake and cringe at the cold wet when it would touch her body.
Thinking of her great dislike of the rain makes me keenly remember her first thunderstorm. On a night much like tonight I laid a tiny uncomfortable Maxine, finally sleeping, next to me on my bed where Maxine, Rose and I would sleep every night. I dare not leave the bed, for if I moved my body from the space next to her she would wake and begin crying, the jagged spine chilling cry that haunted my days with infant Her. The lightning began to brighten our room and Rose and I counted the time between the lightning and thunder in hushed tones. Max woke to a considerably loud thunder clap and I immediately started to pick her up before she could wail. Instead of crying she looked curiously around the room, listening to the pitter patter of the rain.
I turned off the t.v. and sat with her and Rose in the dark room, lit by a small nightlight, listening with Maxine to the storm outside. When it thundered again I watched in amazement as a smile began to erase the usual scowl that painted Maxine’s face. The storm outside gathered more fury and soon the gentle rain sounds were replaced by furious winds. Max was still enthralled.
I laid her down between Rose and myself, pulled the blankets around us and soon fell asleep. It was a wonderful experience, Maxine at peace, not strangely tense, or stressed. There was nothing other than a sweet embrace and a gentle slumber, accompanied by a musical storm raging outside.