The rain

My late husband told me the story multiple times. He knew it was that day, the day part of his heart and courage were crushed. Sometimes we don’t realize the impact of the littlest moments. 
He was assigned a project for school where he had to mimic the sound of rain. He grabbed rice from his pantry, put it in a napkin, and ran out the door. He was so excited to present that day, having found the perfect sound. As he pulled the napkin out of his pocket, the teacher laughed and said he must not have understood the project. And he sat down. He wanted to explain but he was embarrassed. The rain sound would have came from him dropping the rice against those hideous laminate wood desks. He explained from an early age he learned to keep his ideas to himself. Always having the voice in the back of his head saying- this isn’t good enough.
Why does that story stick out to me so much? Maybe because he told me with such heart so many times. He wanted to tell that story, he needed to tell that story. He wanted someone to understand how the rain sounds, how it did work. He told the story to heal, but with it brought a lesson to me. 
When the boys come to me with their childhood excitement, with radiating joy- do I laugh at the napkin, or do I see the potential of the desk? Children are learning. They have imaginations. They see things that as adults we have rationalized out of existence. That story reminds me to see life through their eyes. To play. To sing. And to praise. Praise children so they grow to be individuals who don’t fear watching their ideas come to life. 
I often wonder how many moments someone didn’t let me explain my rain? How many moments I wanted so desperately to be known and the world said- not now. Had I squelched others creativity by my own pre decided idea?  
My late husband had a longing to be known. I have faith that he is now with the all knowing. Part of him remains here though. In his stories. In his legacy. In his reminder to see past the napkin
In his reminder to stop and listen. 
To not just see what we think, but to see what they mean.
To be people who see beauty even where we may not understand it. 
To listen for the rain. 
To see the pretend bug. 
To believe in ones ideas and imagination. 
To be a child again. 
To know and be known. 

For you Fareed <3


  1. Michelle says:

    I absolutely love this, Shelly! I love being able to imagine and play with my kids, and to “see” what they “see” and “hear” what they “hear.” I think imagination is so important, and if they are being mocked or laughed at for their ideas and perceptions, I can understand the fear they have of speaking up again. I’m sorry that Fareed’s teacher laughed at him. It’s a great reminder to just play along with our kids. In fact, I get more joy out of my son’s imaginary world than I do things that are real. Lukas has two imaginary friends, and when someone recently told him they weren’t real, he admitted to me that they are indeed fake. I encouraged him to keep pretending and to keep inviting his “friends” over to play. I don’t want him to lose his imagination; that’s the problem with kids- they are so engrossed in video games instead of books that they lose their sense of imagination and wonder. I’m the parent who encourages silly and pretend- I love every moment of it.

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