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ABK Stories

Twenty Thirty-Two

The girl sat at the window leaning on her hand. “I hate the rain”, she said.
Her father looked up from his book, “And why is that, kitten?”
“Cause I can’t go outside and play. And it looks like the sky is crying- as if everything is supposed to be sad.”
“I see.” The man leaned back and thought for a minute. Dad-ing was never easy, but it was the work of a good person. “Well, your Mama Moose and I love rainy days for two very good reasons. You wanna know why?”
“I guess,” The girl shrugged.
Good enough, he thought, and stood up. “Mama Moose! It’s time for an adventure!”
The purple- haired woman appeared from her room- the Moose cave, a place few people ever got to see, and those who did were rarely seen again. It was because of the xbox. She thumped the ground with each step. “So… rain boots?” she asked.
The man giggled. The sight of her always filled him with joy. “Yes!” he said, “You come too, little one.”
The girl slopped off the window and shuffled over to her parents by the coat rack. The man put on his boots, and a gray coat. Not exactly the rain-coatiest of rain coats, but he liked it all the same, while his wife put on a real raincoat, purple and covered in Pusheen cats. He had forgotten how it was he convinced her to buy the rain boots. Maybe she just wanted them, he thought.

The three of them stepped out passed the cats and onto the porch and he closed the door. As they went out into the rain the house locked itself up and the porch light turned on. God that’s cool, he thought. To think I had to use a damned key just four years ago. Not that I would even need to lock a door out here.
“Follow me,” he said, “It’s out back.”
They followed him from a distance into their back yard. The girl hunched over next to her Mother. He had a smile on his face as he breathed in and sighed.
“Smell that rain!”
After about five minutes he stopped and they caught up to them. Before them the yard dipped just so that the rain formed puddles scattered about. Tiny ponds, he thought and looked at his wife.
“Care to join me, Mama Moose?” He said, and stuck out a hand.
“Anything for you Papa Bear,” She said and took his hands.
He lit up as she spoke. She was everything to him- the reason he lived.
“In that case; Away!” He said.
Together they hopped into one puddle. Giggling, they jumped into another. By the third puddle they started to kick the water at each other and started to laugh louder. They carried on this way for several more puddles before turning back to their daughter.
“You coming?” He asked. The girl rolled her eyes and stepped forward. “No!” He yelled “Jump!”

The girl hesitated. and then she gave a little hop. The water splashed out from her feet. It was a tremendous splash. She held back her smile- and hopped again. By the third puddle she was kicking the water about and giggling into a belly laugh.

He loved that laugh, it came from his greatest triumph in life- the product of love and the origins of pure joy. Soon their daughter caught up with them, and they splashed water at each other until their raincoats no longer kept the water in.
After some time, the man lead them back inside, and pet the cats as they dried up with a towel. The girl went up to him, and said “Papa Bear, What was the second thing?”
“The second thing? Oh, that’s simple- when it rains we get to stay at home and appreciate our family, the one thing we’ll always have so long as we live. You see, what a family is, is a chance to grow with others- an opportunity to become truly whole. But it doesn’t just come from nowhere, you have to work hard or else it all will crumble apart. If you aren’t taking the time for each other then you aren’t making a family, but destroying one.
“And that’s why Mama Moose and I love rainy days, because it gives us the chance to build our relationship- it reminds us that we have a home and that means we need to work together.”
His wife came up and ruffled his hair. “Are you indoctrinating the child again?”
“It’s my pleasure to do so, love.” He said, and kissed her belly.
“You two are weirdos.” The girl said.
“And fiercely proud of it!” He said and got up. “Now, who’s up for dinner?”
I love you.

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