Don’t be afraid of the rain…


I remember as a little girl the nights where I would be lying in bed listening to the rain on the roof tiles outside. The loud drumming noise was a contrast to my snug bed with its warm duvet and I’d pull it up to my neck to keep the warmth from escaping. I’d be thankful that at that time I wasn’t out in it but safe in my bed and then I would slowly drift back to sleep…

Memories of the rain and my feelings about it came back to me that first night on my narrow boat when it rained. I was in bed, under the duvet listening to the gentle drumming on the metal roof. During storms the noise would be so amazingly loud that I felt that the force of the rain would drive through the metal and we would get wet. We never did, of course, but it’s something I’ve not experienced before or since. One of my favourite things to do on the boat when it rained was to open the doors and listen to the rain fall on the water. This has an almost magical quality to it and sounds ethereal. With the fire lit (I chopped all the wood so I felt I could open the door!) when it was cold, the boat was the best place to be in the rain and I loved it.

Walking my dogs, so long as I had the right waterproofs on, was something I really enjoyed. I’m not sure my Jack Russell, that was scared of water –quite ironic for a dog that lived on a boat – agreed though as she shook and whimpered as soon as the first drops fell.

When I had children and before I moved, going out in the rain was something to avoid. It was an effort, by the time I’d negotiated the wellies (on some days found them!) making sure each child had the right wellie on the right foot, found the waterproofs, convinced them to wear them, sorted out the arguments, made sure all had gone to the toilet I felt that I’d done a full days work. With this in the back of my mind as soon as the first drops fell I was a bit like the Jack Russell, I whimpered. Partly because I knew I didn’t have the energy to get 3 boys ready to go and jump in puddles and partly because I knew they would now be inside and cabin fever mixed with 3 small boys in a small sitting room is a recipe for disaster.

That’s not to say that I never took them out. When Ollie was at school or Tobes was at nursery I did don mackintosh and wellies and we have gone on snail hunts, measured puddles taken photos of worms and slugs (and shown anyone who take a look) but with the 3 of them it was just too much an effort. Going out was one thing but coming in was just as bad. To get them all de-robed of wet clothes covered in mud and into a warm bath as quickly as possible before the ‘I’m cold!!’ moans set in was a feat in itself. Then there was the washing. Another problem was –where would we walk? If you opened the door to my last house you would have seen acres of houses. I just didn’t find it satisfying to go out walking it wasn’t the walking I was used too…

When we moved here I wanted to change. I wanted to live our lives differently. I wanted my boys to have the freedoms that I had as youngster living in a village. I was out in all weathers on my bike cycling to friends who lived miles away. We would cycle with no destination in mind and taking random left and rights as the moment took us. I often came home soaked and muddy having got caught in a shower. I’d be halfway across a field with friends and the heavens would open. We’d run through the grass laughing and joking sheltering under a tree when we had the sense too. I had a real sense of freedom that I wanted for my boys.

It was over cast the other day. The clouds were angry and grey and we knew that although it wasn’t raining then it would soon. We got out the wellies (made sure each boy had the right colour, the right pair on the right feet) found the waterproofs and set out. We did a circular walk around our house and it took just under an hour but in that hour we had recited the Gruffalo and been on a bear hunt. We’d found rabbit holes, badger holes and found sticks to use as swords. We giggled at ‘bottom lane’ –the name of the bridal way- and we’d felt the anticipation of an imminent rain shower as the air turned blustery and the light became over cast. The rain came and we sheltered under trees where we looked out onto the rain falling from the sky in full force. The noise of the wind in the trees made such a noise that Henry became scared. He was unused to such a loud noise and coupled with the noise of the rain his nervousness overcame him. Slowly the rain stopped, the light came back and the noise of the wind subsided. We carried on with our walk.

(The boys looking out onto the rain!)

We arrived home, wet, tired but with fresh faces and an enthusiasm that only a shared adventure brings. We took off out wet coats (and shorts for Tobes as he’d got soaked!) found some biscuits and Hubbie made hot chocolate. Sitting round the table with big smiles on their faces I know we’ve done the right thing. We left our friends, our security where we used to live and starting again I found, am finding still, quite daunting but the freedom we have given our boys is a gift that I had when I was young. Our door is always open and they are free to come and go Ollie is out for hours roaming the countryside with his new found friend and I know the younger ones will follow him soon. He arrives home wet, dirty and hungry but with a smile on his face that no toy would have brought. He’s not afraid of the rain…

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About littlewhitecottage

Tales from a contemporay cottage.
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6 Responses to Don’t be afraid of the rain…

  1. Ainsleigh says:

    What a truly amazing blog…….One which I totally recognise. We have recently moved to Canada from the UK and I am truly lost without our friends and family but, like your boys, my boys now have a freedom here they could never have had at ‘home’. They have a neighbourhood among trees with beaches around the corner and lots of new friends nearby to hang out with. Back in the UK they couldnt go out to play alone as the streets were so busy and the stranger danger was to risky……..Here it is completely different and this is what is keeping me going and allowing me to (slowly) overcome my slight loneliness for them. Thank you for this, reading it is like looking in the mirror and I see I am not alone in this journey of a wonderful life :0) x

    • Thank you so much for posting, it’s great to hear others who’ve made that big change -though your change is much bigger than mine! I felt that way about the streest being busy and the stanger danger thing was an ever present worry. Here, it’s safe to be on the road – only 2/3 cars go down it per day – and they can come and go as they please. The area they have to play is much larger too as before they were limited to literally just outside the house for the littles and the road for Ollie. We are missing our friends though but we hope once school has started we will all make new friends quickly. Good luck in your journey xx

  2. Liz says:

    Awww, that last part… they are not afraid of the rain, made me all teary! We moved away from all our family to be by the coast and we don’t regret it at all, but every now and again I get that pang of “have I done the right thing” – this really helped… and I have 3 children too, so it made me laugh about getting ready!!!

  3. Sarah Jane says:

    I have just spent a wonderful 60 minutes reading your blog instead of doing the dishes and getting on with the curtains I am supposed to be finishing. As a mum of two who also sews for a living since children arrived, I find so much I identify with in your writing and your aspirations for your family. I am not a “blog reader” but look forward to calling on you again to find out how life is going on at the Little White Cottage!

  4. I so love reading your blogs so refreshing ,warm and inviting.

  5. Teresa Clanfield says:

    Lovely blog x
    We love being out doors come rain or shine. My daughter loves jumping in puddles.

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