Rain always seems to come at the most inopportune times.
And it certainly doesn’t go away fast enough.
My cousin Jill and her daughter, Zoe, were in town over the weekend for Zoe’s soccer games, and my mom and I made somewhat of a trek out to go watch her play on Saturday afternoon. I had checked the forecast earlier in the day, and it claimed it would be cloudy and warm all day.
There’s a lesson I continue to learn yet never fully learn from at times: You can’t trust the system.
As we got closer to the soccer fields, the skies turned a bit gloomy, and we had to face an inevitable truth: Rain was on the way. On occasion, I’m like a cat in that I don’t like to get wet, especially when I really want to stay dry. Plus, I had a hair appointment earlier that morning, so my hair was clean and had that fresh just-went-to-the-salon smell. They have magical stuff there that just smells so good. Obviously I really didn’t want to get my hair wet (not that I ever do want to).
Thanks to reality, we can’t always get what we want.
We parked and got out of the car, and we immediately realized we weren’t properly prepared. It was chillier than expected, and I wasn’t even wearing socks. Keds are not very warm shoes, and I don’t like to have the rain on my shoes. (Can I get an “Amen” from all of my Coyote Ugly fans out there?)
We finally found the field where Zoe’s game was, and as soon as we arrived, so did the downpour. There was a canopy over the bleachers, but the rain was coming in at a weird sideways angle, so I wouldn’t use the word “effective” to describe this covering. I had the hood of my jacket over my head, but that was pretty useless, too. The jacket wasn’t exactly made for rain—or protecting a girl and her hair from it. The people around us who were smart enough to bring umbrellas couldn’t even shield us. No matter what we did, there was no way for us to escape the rain at that soccer game.
Even though we were already pretty drenched, I had mixed feelings about the walk (run) back to the car. Sure, the car would be warmer and drier than the open and somewhat exposed situation we had on our hands at the time, but I really didn’t want to leave the slight protection we had underneath the tent.
But we had to get back to the haven that was the car somehow.
When we left, we took off running, but my mom was struggling. She claimed her legs were numb and then brought up what I thought was a silly observation: “We’re already wet! What’s the point?”
I guess sometimes you simply have to face the truth that you’re in a rainstorm that’s worse than you want it to be.
When I was sitting on those cold, wet bleachers, there was a point when I was simply wishing to be anywhere else—somewhere dry and warm and cozy. But all of that wishing did nothing but make me feel more miserable. I wasn’t even paying as much attention to the actual soccer game as I should have been because I was too busy focused on unsuccessfully trying to shield myself from the sideways rain.
But you can’t let the rain blind you from all of the goodness around you.
The girls were still playing soccer (and having some fun in that weather), the parents were cracking us up with colorful and sarcastic commentary, my mom was right there with me with her usual positive attitude shining through, and I was getting an opportunity to be there for family I don’t get to see very often.
We all have our own rain storms in life—some are short and don’t cause too much damage, while others seem like they will never end and just keep pouring, causing way more pain than we’d ever think possible. But we can’t just sit on the bleachers and wish for things to be different. It’s important to recognize the good things around you; it’s important not to let the rain blind you from the things that truly matter; it’s important to keep pressing on toward your haven, no matter how soaked you get along the way; and it’s important never to give up.
Hilary Duff once poignantly sang, “Let the rain fall down and wake my dreams,” and I think homegirl is on to something: Sometimes you need a little rain in your life that you have to endure to get your heart’s desires.
Even if that means getting your hair wet in the process.