He hung over the arm of the chair watching the storm out the window. Out of nowhere he announced, “She is definitely bowling strikes.” I knew exactly what he meant. I had told them there was no need to be scared of thunder: the angels were bowling.
We would watch the sky turn from bright blue to grey to black, holding out as long as we could. When we felt the first drops, we’d make the mad dash to the house collapsing on the front steps just as the sky would open up. The driving rain would come down in sheets. With every thunderous boom she would nestle in a little tighter and ask, “Do you think that was a strike?”
There are times I forget and call out to her because I find the flip-flop for which she had searched high and low. All too often I open a notebook and find one of her drawings staring back at me. Countless times, I grab the lone ladybug garden glove she tucked in the front pocket of my garden bag. No matter how many times I find my little one’s unexpected treasures, my blue skies instantly turn black and tears seem to fall in an endless stream. Despite the urge, I no longer run for cover. I hold the flip-flop and feel her little painted toes as they dug under my legs when we curled up on the couch. I picture her head resting on her arm as she concentrated on creating her latest “horse how to” novel. No matter how hard it may be I read her creations from beginning to end. Only after I have allowed the tears to run freely am I able to return the lonely glove to its partner on the shelf and smile at the other treasures she left.
I have come to trust that in the midst of my sadness, the sun will always find its way through the darkness. Now, the brave little one and I wait out the storms. Sometimes we watch from the windows. Other times, we sit on the front steps. But always, when the storm is over, we search the skies and without fail, she greets us- her bright light beaming, thrilled she bowled a perfect game.