She was six. She wanted to go outside. It was raining so hard her mother wouldn’t let het go play in the puddles. Her mother was afraid of lightening. The little girl…was not. She thought lightening was pretty. She called them “frizzled sparkles.” As long as the storm was pummeling their house, the little girl was trapped inside. She was six. She wanted to go outside.
“Mommy, can I go outside and play in the rain? (pointing her tiny finger at the growing puddles in the yard) I bet I could splash big waves with my boots!”
Her Mother smiled down.
“I bet you could too. But Honey, there is lightening out there that could hurt you if it hit you- or even if it just hits nearby. I don’t want you to be struck by lightening. Or for the wind to blow something that knocks you down. Just play inside until the storm stops.”
The little girl looked up at her Mom. It would be another fifteen years until her Mother truly understood the little girl’s answer.
“Oh Frizzle Sparkles would never hurt me. (Her mother loved her daughter’s name for Lightening) And the Wind I can just ask to go around me.”
Her Mother laughed.
“Why are you laughing, Mommy?”
“I was just thinking what a joy it is to be six years old.”
The little girl didn’t quite understand what her mother meant.
“Well, if you ask the wind to go around you, the Frizzle Sparkles to stop, and the rain lets up- then you can go outside.”
The little girl clapped her hands with glee. She gave her Mom a quick squiggly hug, then ran to get her boots from the back room.
Her Mom watched her daughter squeal away, hurrying to get her boots from the back room. She smiled at her daughter’s optimism. She turned to look out the kitchen window…
“That’s strange. The storm has stopped. Like someone turned off the tap. Huh.”
A minute later her daughter came back in the kitchen…her boots on the right feet (which made the six year old very proud) with her raincoat on as more of an apron against mud, than as a weather garment.
“Can I go outside now?”
Her Mother looked out the window one more time. The clouds had broken up, sunlight was starting to dimple the backyards and puddles. She turned back to her daughter with a big smile:
“Yes, but stay in the backyard. I don’t want you getting splashed by the street as cars go by. That water is moving fast to the sewers and for a little girl like you it could be dangerous.”
The little girl smiled back as she darted for the door:
“I will play in the backyard…but I don’t worry about water. Water likes me.”
“And you like water too!”
Her Mom couldn’t help but get into the Spirit of the Game with her daughter.
With that she sprinted out the door, took a bold leap from the third step into the big puddle next to the stairs. The splash was tremendous. Thru the window the little girl could see her mother smiling and waving…all was well.
Off in the distance Frizzle Sparkles were lighting up the sky.
The little girl waved at them.
The wind blew a few gentle drops from leaves above the little girl- she looked up, and the wind gently moved some long strands of hair that were sticking to her face and eye lids.
The wind died down as the little girl continued to stomp through puddles almost as deep as her calves. Finally her boots hit soggy ground.
“Oh, good! Mud!”
With that, the little girl plopped straight into a crouch to start making mud pies.”
Her Mother watched the intense concentration on her daughter’s face. She went to the side closet and got her galoshes and rain jacket. She would join her daughter making mud pies. Later, after they cleaned up, they would make a real pie. Supper could wait.
In the background on the TV - you could hear the “breaking weather” News alert coming from the other room. The mother ignored it. The weather here was wonderful. The Alert rambled on without an audience:
“…one of the strangest weather phenomena ever recorded on radar. (The Weatherman was obviously distraught at having no explanation for the events unfolding on the screen.) It is as if the storm just gathered itself into a packet and walked off to another neighborhood to start up again in full fury.”
On the screen you could see the storm stop…right over the little girl’s house…then move a mile away to start up again. Like a person picking up a lawn chair and moving it to the other end of a patio, then settling back down to relax.
The lightening, wind, and rain, resumed their pounding of roofs, trees, and any unprotected folks caught by the sudden downpour. Wondering where in the heck did the storm come from?
In a backyard a little girl hummed as she helped her Mom shape her muddies into nice little pies. The little girl looked up at a particularly bright flash of lightening which made her smile and wave. Her mother was startled by the lightening. A moment later and she jumped at the loud clap of thunder. Her daughter didn’t. She clapped back at the thunder clap.
“That was a good one, Tom Tom!”
The little girl’s mother (still shaken a bit by the loud thunder clap) gave a quizzical twist to her voice as she asked:
“Who is Tom Tom?”
The little girl looked at her Mom as only a six year old who is amazed at how little grown ups know…can.
“Tom Tom makes the noises for the Frizzle Sparkles, the Frizzle Sparkles can only make light…so Tom Tom makes noise for how bright the Frizzle Sparkle was. See?”
Her Mother laughed in delight. What an imagination her daughter has. What understanding of the weather too. They both went back to work on their muddies, turning them into pies of different tastes and textures. Some sprinkled with grass frosting, others with crunch twigs acting as chocolate chips. The Mother forgot about the storm as she let the little girl from her past slide out to join her daughter in play.
Off in the distance a few Frizzle Sparkles and softer Tom Tom’s let everyone know the storm was almost over. Just before it disappeared, the little girl looked up and over…giving a big warm smile, a wave, and a heartfelt thank you to the rain, wind, and lightening.
A sharp last flash echoed a 'you're welcome' back to the little girl.
The sun creeped out from behind a lingering cloud.
All that was left was a little girl, and a big girl, turning muddies into mud pies.
The Frizzle Sparkles, rain, wind, and Tom Tom’s would wait for the little girl’s call before they came back.