The text came at 7 am, but I didn't see it until right before my girl and my husband were about to leave.
"Dear parents," it began, and I knew what it was going to say. The rain outside poured down so hard it sounded angry: field trip cancelled.
Just a normal Monday. Nothing to look forward to. I met her eyes. She crumpled before me.
As I listened to the frustration, disappointment and rage pour out of her, I thought how much I've wanted to do that in the past few weeks. Nothing in particular has happened, just the culmination of several mountains that won't move no matter how hard I hurl myself against them.
My husband told her about two field trips when he was a kid that were cancelled due to inclement weather. I told her about "All Summer in a Day," one of the first Ray Bradbury short stories I ever loved because of the moment the children realize what they've done to Margot, even though they really didn't mean to. I read it around my daughter's age. It was the beginning of my awareness that people can do awful things without meaning to, and they don't get a pass because they didn't mean to. You can mean to do all the good things and still screw up. And if you do, it's still your fault. And if it's your fault, but you're trying to be a good person, then maybe that means you have to cut everyone some slack.
And the world gets way more complicated.
She rested her head on my shoulder and I patted her silky red hair, wishing I could take away the rain and give her the gift of a school-free, field-trippy day, but I am not God. I don't control the rain. I couldn't even control her expectations.
I saw the text too late to give her time to adjust. That's why the outburst came so fast and so hard.
Left to my own devices, I would've let her ride the day out on the couch, ease into the week in more of the manner her expectations expected. My husband, the more practical and old-school of the two of us, was having none of it. I retreated to my office and left him to deal with the crying child, grateful for once in his crazy traveling job he was actually here to dry the tears.
Sometimes I need a break from drying the tears. I cry too easily myself.
My girl came home a little bit ago, wet and tired.
It's still raining. I don't expect it will stop until tomorrow.