Rain is gloomy. Watch any movie, and you will be convinced. But Luke showed me this week how to overcome the rain.
I was sitting with my family on the bleachers at the Flagler Palm Coast High School soccer field on Monday, Jan. 8, waiting for the Matanzas-FPC junior varsity girls soccer game to start, when it started to rain.
That complicated an already complicated outing. As often as my wife and I try, we don’t take everyone on a lot of family outings, since it’s hard to find an activity that will appeal to all ages (our youngest, Luke, is 5; our oldest, Jackson, is 19). Despite some of our children not liking soccer very much, this game was tolerable because we have friends playing on both teams. It became less tolerable when accompanied by cold temperatures, wind and rain.
To top it off, I was already feeling gloomy that day. I happen to love soccer, so this game was going to be something of an escape for me. The rain, and the prospect of shortening our outing, made me drip with disappointment.
Fortunately, Luke came to my rescue.
“Go Caleigh!” he shouted, cheering on one of our friends on the Matanzas team.
Luke’s siblings, ever the helpful realists, said, “She can’t hear you.”
Did he listen to their gloominess?
“Go Caleigh!” he said again, as she ran toward the ball on the opposite side of the field (well beyond earshot, but who cares?).
I remained mostly gloomy, as I got a dump of umbrella water on my jacket.
Then the rain started to let up. One of Luke’s siblings observed, pessimistically, “It’s still raining a little.”
Luke, still just happy to be there, said, “Better than raining a lot, though.”
After the game, everyone wanted to go home and get out of the weather. I offered to stay if anyone else was interested in watching part of the varsity game, which was about to start next.
“Anyone want to join me?” I asked.
Luke raised his hand.
So, after the rest of the family left (we had driven in two separate vehicles), I put my arm around Luke, and we climbed to the top row of the stadium to keep watching. As the FPC varsity team warmed up, a familiar song blared over the loudspeakers: “22,” by Taylor Swift.
“We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time,” Luke belted out, knowing all the words. “It's miserable and magical, oh yeah! Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines!”
Maybe I did forget about the deadlines, at least for a while.
We didn’t last much longer before heading home ourselves. But no matter how drippy we were, we walked down the stairs, hand in hand, feeling positively ungloomy.