Last weekend, when the sun finally shone bright after weeks behind steel clouds, and the air was warm enough for short sleeves, our daughter and I waited on the front stoop for Grandma and the cousins to arrive. The sun was like warm honey on our skin, and for the first time since October, I peeled my socks off. I wiggled my naked toes in the yellow light and realized, my toes are out!
“Let’s paint our toenails,” I said. “You want to?”
We sat on the concrete steps and clipped and buffed and listened to the clink of glass polish bottles as we explored the bright pink cosmetic bag of color. I found a red like a Corazon rose, propped my right foot beneath me, and painted new life onto my toenails.
Two days later, winter returned. My toes went back into their socks, their electric happiness hidden, like a surprise party waiting for the honoree to arrive. At the end of the week, our guests departed, bundled against the cold.
When Saturday came around again, so did the sun. We opened the house back up to let another day of warmth inside, and the kids asked to take a walk to the duck pond. After telling them, “In a minute” for about an hour, we finally threw on flip flops and told them to grab their ball. We walked out the door to dark grey clouds looming, shrugged our shoulders, and went anyway.
A huge raindrop splatted on my cheek as we arrived at the pond. Five minutes later, the clouds burst, and I ran under the gazebo with my go-cup of wine. The wind blew rain in sheets across the pond, and when thunder boomed, the kids and their dad ran laughing to the shelter. Our teeth chattered as the temperature dropped, and our son said, “Can we go home now?”
“Uhhhh, I’m not leaving in this.” My husband gestured to the torrents of rain coming down. “You can go if you want.”
Our son took his ball and stepped out into the downpour, and a few seconds later, our daughter followed. Soon they disappeared up the hill towards home, while their dad and I shivered under the gazebo, the wind blowing spray onto us despite the roof over our heads. When it finally seemed to let up, I said, “You wanna make a run for it?”
We walked out into the now light shower, hunching our shoulders against the chill. Thunder boomed, a new deluge began, and we ran in the rain, our squeaky flip-flops splashing, our heads down. My red lacquered toes flashed bright against the wet gray sidewalk.
My husband shouted, “I like your toenails!”
And we smiled at their fun color in the spring rain.