Sunday morning was upon us. I rolled over to look at the clock—hmm, it’s 6:45, but I don’t have to work today, so I cuddled up close to my husband, warming my cold feet against his calves, and drifted off to sleep again. A while later, I opened my eyes and saw Kev peering out the window.
“Guess what honey?” he said. “It’s raining.”
I grumbled, pulling the covers over my head. Certainly, life could be worse. We could be living in an area struck by the disastrous flooding. We’ve been dealing with relentless rain but all in all, it’s still pretty dry up here in Bonnyville, Alberta. But knowing it was raining, yet again, sucked the life right out of me. I’ve been missing my Kootenay home in Ymir, B.C., something terrible these last few weeks. I miss the days of gardening, walking along the creeks and rivers, and the smell of the fresh mountain forest. I was like a fish out of water. Humdrum, I was determined to keep my cranky pants on this day. Cranky pants in the form of my pajamas.
“Mom, let’s go for a ride,” said Leo, excitedly, while peeking around the corner.
My 15-year-old son was feeling the antsy vibe too. We were all feeling it. I looked out the living room window and as though he was reading my mind, he answered, “I know it’s going to rain so let's just go for a quick one. Hurry Mom, chop chop, let's go.”
He was so cute at this moment. Suddenly, my tall, handsome 15-year-old son looked like a toddler again. He so wanted to go for a scoot.
“It’s so much better riding with you, Mom,” he continued. “I love you, Mom.”
OK, while I was putting on my gear, he was readying the bikes. I was going to borrow my daughter Brook’s bike, since my demo bike from T & T Power Sports was at the store. She must have felt the need to squirt some dirt too for she appeared just as we were ready to roll. Knowing there was a small window for a ride she had raced home from work.
“I’m going too!” she cried.
“No worries, Hoolie, I’ll grab my bike from the store and we can all go,” I said.
Leo looked worried. “Don’t chicken out Mom,” he said. “Jump on with me—I’ll drive you to the store.”
The big wall of black clouds was approaching rather quickly as the wind began to howl.
“Please Mom, please don’t chicken out,” Leo said.
I’ll be honest, I almost chickened out, but I gave him my word and drove to the store to get my bike. The kids were close behind me, overjoyed that we were all going. Our journey began—mom, son and daughter on dirt bikes, rolling into the storm.
The clouds were almost black in front of us. We cruised down the Iron Horse Trail toward our riding area. Each raindrop fell harder than the one before it, stinging me like shots of electricity coursing through my body. I’m alive, I thought. This does NOT suck. I starting singing: “I’m alive . . . ahh ahhh so alive . . . ” (This is a song by Love and Rockets from my teen years when I knew everything and had bad hair.) The knot in my stomach released. I felt ALIVE.
The kids stopped on the trail to check on me. They looked so worried, unsure if I was going to make us turn around or not. I couldn’t even get any words to come out of my mouth. Giggles and crazy woman laughter resonated out of my helmet.
It was raining hard now—very, very hard. Water ran off of our jerseys as I motioned for us to continue. They were so excited. We cruised along without a care in the world. It was an unplanned adventure in the rain. Oh, the looks on the faces of passing motorists were priceless.
“You’re going the wrong way,” was what they were thinking, I’m sure.
No, we weren’t going the wrong way. It was perfect. We played tag in the trees and follow-the-leader for a while, then made our way back to town.
Brook, Leo and I arrived at the store, completely drenched and exhausted. We pressure washed our bikes and drank hot chocolate—each one of us thankful for the afternoon we had spent together. I know for sure that sometimes, the only thing to wash a bleak blah mood away is a good ride in the rain with amazing children.