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  • Vivian Chang Freiheit

Running in Rain

"Did the coach say anything about cancelling practice over rain?" I asked Son #1 at his bedroom door, early this morning. "No," I heard him answer sleepily, "but Pleasantville always cancels when it rains." True. On days like today, his former coach at his previous school would have written with instructions on how to train at home. Now there was steady, almost heavy rain. "Mom," Son #2 asked as we hustled to the car, "isn't practice cancelled?"

It had occurred to me briefly, as I lay in my cozy bed this morning, that I could email the coach and tell him the kids would get on the treadmill and exercise at home. That Son #1 has this lingering cough and maybe he shouldn't run in the rain. We'd also avoid any chance of showing up and being the only ones there. But then I caught myself as I passed the piano on my way to let the dogs out. I'd never in a million years make excuses about practice, would I? Or about homework or other important commitments?

We pulled into the school lot at 6:55AM and saw a group of kids already on the field. The coach had just arrived by bike and was heading towards them. It looked like any other day, but it was grey and raining pretty heavily now. The kids would get wet, probably soaked. "I'm not taking my umbrella," said Son #1 as he left the car. "Mom," said Son #2 as he turned his back to me for access, "can you put the umbrella in my bag?"

I was impressed to catch sight of the kids, out as usual. What was I possibly thinking earlier? I'm always talking to the kids about being reliable and how important it is to honor your commitments, whatever the circumstances. This morning was no different. I later picked up the boys, who were drenched from training outside but clearly not made of sugar. So glad we did the right thing and showed up!

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