I own an umbrella now, but I didn’t when I woke up last Saturday. I swear we used to own umbrellas. Two beat-up little fold-up numbers, black, full of holes, but still more protection than any halo could ever afford. We spent the summer forgetting we ever needed them, but now that the rain has found its way back, we realized that our old umbrellas are nowhere to be found. Perhaps they felt unappreciated. Maybe they found each other in the dark depths of our closet, fell in love, and moved somewhere where they could be of use. Maybe we’ll get a postcard from Seattle.
The Ash and I were in Fredericksburg last weekend on something of an all-day date/one day vacation while the boys stayed with my Mom. It was raining and we were umbrellaless. It’s true, there’s a certain romance to being a couple in the rain, darting hand in hand from awning to awning, giggling at each other’s soggy dog impersonation. But after a while it gets old and you ask a kindly shopkeeper to point out the nearest umbrella vendor. We bought the last two umbrellas that this little store had on the rack. They were the long kind that The Penguin was so fond of with a J-hook handle for catching wayward geese and a point at the end for pressing elevator buttons from a whole three feet away.
My umbrella was in my car this morning when I awoke to the sound of rain. With both boys ready and myself as ready as I’d ever be, I ran out to get it, then ran back to the house, then walked the two of them out to the car. It was Friday morning, so we had to get going, for Friday is Donut Day. Donut Day is something of a tradition I’ve established with the little guys ever since Pablito’s, the little family-owned bakery up the road, opened their doors. The people there know us, and they know to expect us every Friday morning. Donut Day gets Henry to bed on Thursday nights and wakes him on Friday mornings. Donut Day does not get put on hold just because of a little rain.
I managed to get both boys strapped in while holding the umbrella mostly over my head. Now that I type this, I realize I could have done the actual strapping part from inside the car, but obvious solutions, much like witty retorts, have a way of escaping me when they’re really needed. We pulled into the parking lot of the strip center where Pablito’s is located and they were….closed? Their doors were open, but it looked like a bunch of their furniture was outside, their Open sign was turned off, and the place was full of carpenters. I have no idea what was going on, but they didn’t seem to be open for business. I sincerely hope that’s temporary because there’s nothing quite like the neighborhood bakery.
Pablito’s aside, there was still the question of Donut Day. Pablito’s may have inspired Donut Day in the first place, but Donut Day is bigger than that now. Donut Day lives on with or without Pablito’s. And besides, the baby was crying. “I’m not crying,” Henry pointed out. Thanks buddy. Daddy needs the break.
A baker’s dozen or so minutes later, we were at another donut store. It was completely out of our way and not quite as good as Pablito’s, but they had donuts dammit. I was already late for work, so our donut consumption happened in the car rather than in the doughy oveny warmth of the donut shop. I dropped the boys off at daycare around the time I normally man my cube. Another Donut Day, successful in spite of the odds.