Water logged

The scene: the farm, 8:30 am. Clouds unleash every ounce of water vapor from their grasp.

And we’re late. Really late. Martin and I herd the kids out the door, while juggling their lunches, their books, jackets, the baby and her bottles, and my work bag and gym clothes. Hunched under the pelting rain, we half run, half tip-toe across the grass, trying to spare our shoes complete saturation. But then we stop, surveying the moat that’s formed around the car.

Determined to avoid the drowned-rat look at work, I leap over the standing water and dive into the driver’s seat, dragging my gym back and lunches behind me. Martin works from home; he can load the kids.

Just then there’s a blip of light — a camera flash. It can’t be lightning, I think. Morning lightning? But then it comes — a quaking, thunderous boom. Standing beside the car, Hadley bursts into tears. Martin, who’s soaked and turned against the wind, cracks open the back door and yells at Hadley, “Get in! Get in!” Just then the dog sees the opportunity to save herself from the thunder and impending end of the world. An open spot on the Titanic lifeboat. She launches her wet, muddy body into the backseat.

Take the scene above and repeat. Martin hauls the dog out, and shouts for Hadley to get in. Reluctant to forge the moat, Hadley hesitates. Martin reaches to help her and Maisie springs into the car. Martin yanks Maisie out and holds her down and yells at Hadley to get in. He releases the dog to help the kid and Maisie jumps in again. Then he hauls her out….

Finally the door slams. The backseat is packed to capacity with dripping kids — Brynn in her bucket baby seat, Cayden wedged in the middle and Hadley on the end. I put the car in reverse, then notice the dog. She’s jammed between the seats and the kids’ feet, huddled down in that “you don’t see me” posture.

I roll down the window, letting the wind and rain in, surrendering to the drowned rat club. “Martin! Get this damn dog out of the car!”

I officially decree that if we ever move, the next house we own will have a bigger kitchen, a bathtub capable of holding more than a puddle of water….

And an attached garage.