Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cats & Dogs

Isaac is standing in the kitchen, his favorite navy blue and orange motocross t-shirt on, and a pair of sports themed briefs.

"Mommy!  I'm ready to go!"

I raise one corner of my mouth and raise my eyebrows?  "Really?  I think you forgot a few things..."  Coffee in hand, I tickle his belly with my other free one, and take his wiggling hand.  "Let's get some pants on.  It's chilly today, and it's raining cats and dogs!"  The idiom slips off my tongue before I could catch myself.

I squinted my eyes and waited for the impending response...

Isaac turns his head to look up at me, amazingly without getting whiplash, and bounds up the stairs to his bedroom.  I hear his heavy feet pound towards the window.

As I enter the room behind him, I see Isaac's long, skinny legs (just like his Daddy) with extra wide feet up on his tiptoes; palms and nose pressed simultaneously to a now foggy window.  His voice is loud and excited.

"I don't see them Mommy!  Where are they?"

He is referring to the cats and dogs.

Talking with Isaac is an adventure.  Things that we take for granted that people understand aren't always as easy for Isaac to grasp.  I have to be careful with the way I explain situations or events, because with this little boy, specifics and concrete ideas are essential to his understanding.  It doesn't mean I can't ever use a phrase like "it's raining cats and dogs," it just means I have to explain the context.  I make sure he gets the picture that he won't ever be hit on the head by a German Shepherd while he's walking to the van in the rain. 

As I kneel beside him, I wipe the window that has been made opaque by little puffs of hot 4 year old breath.  "There aren't cats and dogs out there,"  I backtrack.  "It's just a saying.  It means it's raining very hard, and very heavy...and there's LOTS of rain."

"Yeah..." he responds.  I watch his eyes process as the rain pounds the porch roof outside.  When I'm confident the information has soaked in, I smile and turn to get him some jeans. 

"LOOK!" He says all of a sudden.  To my surprise, our elderly neighbor, two houses down on the left, is walking her dog.  "It IS raining dogs, Mommy!  And a lady!"  His little mouth makes a large oval shape "WOW!" and he bounces up and down like he just won the lottery.

I decide not to explain anymore.  I kneel next to him and we watch the big old dog walk in the rain.

No beating around the bush--I love this kid.
And for a moment, I catch a glimpse of Isaac's thoughts.  They're bright, imaginative, and happy; just a drop in the bucket with all the other moments he's given--a piece of cake.  Something an idiom could never explain.  


  1. Lovely story. Kids are precious

  2. awww, great story! Gosh, he should write a kid's book! Kids would love all his beautifully innocent and fabulously creative fantasies!

    Love ya!