Only women around my age or older will be able to finish that line (" . . always get me down", from a Carpenters hit song) - but here it is, Monday and raining nonstop, and it's President's Day so I have bored kids with cabin fever - let the bickering begin! Plus they're annoyed because they only have the one day off - our neighborhood isn't affluent enough for "Ski Week", the mid-February vacation taken by school districts who got tired of battling low attendance around now.
I'm trying to think of strategies to cope with rainy days, besides just being grateful that this might avert real drought measures. Anyone who lived in Northern California in the late '80s may remember water rationing and the awkwardness of using someone else's toilet and trying to figure out the etiquette of flushing - looks like we'll be spared this year!
I remember a particularly bad rainy Monday several years ago; I was recently divorced, the kids were driving me nuts, we were all bored and stir-crazy, so in a fit of mommy-creativity, I decided we should all put on raincoats and go for a walk and get soaking wet. The kids were 4 and 7, so they loved it, particularly when I encouraged them to splash in every puddle they could find, and then when we got home, we changed into dry pajamas and roasted marshmallows (over the electric range, actually, but it sort of worked). It turned a lousy lonely day into a family memory we all still cherish.
Unfortunately, family memories are hard to encore. (I feel a little like Woody Allen in "Annie Hall", who tries to recreate the hilarious lobsters-crawling-out-of-the-pot with a new date, who is not amused.) I tried the 'let's walk in the rain and get wet' idea, but these days the boys are too old to splash in puddles, and they both have homework to finish and rats to feed and Facebook updates to write (you know, those urgent status reports, "I'm stuck inside doing homework").
However, I'm still determined to make this a rainy day to remember. While they finish homework, I think I'll download a Carpenters' album and reminisce; plus we now have a working fireplace, so tonight I'm making a fire and we'll roast marshmallows, I'll tell them stories about the last drought or flooded streets when I was a kid and they'll roll their eyes, and maybe I'll give them some material for when they have kids of their own.