And down came a cascade of rain---so much that it was hard to see out of the windshield. Cars slowed down around me and then I heard the rap-tap-tap of hail.
Jim had called me on his cell phone to give me his and Charlie's exact coordinates and, after two left turns, there they were under a storefront ledge, semi-soaked. "Get in the car with Mom, pal!" Jim called and, as Charlie raced in, Jim shoved in the yellow bike. I saw Charlie startle as a tire nudged the back of his head and then he and I drove off. (Jim took shelter for a few minutes longer before biking home in a steady shower.)
Thunderstorms had been looming all day. The air was humid and fragrant like the inside of a greenhouse, though Charlie was all smiles waiting for the bus. (I believe he was relieved to start the day riding it after yesterday's early morning dentist visit.) Our usual afternoon summerday combo---ABA session and swimming at the pool---was disrupted due to Charlie's therapist being sick and the faraway crash of thunder in the sky. We drove to pick up Jim who had met with two journalist friends and talked a lot about the October 27th Autism Advocacy conference that he is organizing. (The conference agenda will be posted by next week---I am on it.......) On the way home, Charlie burst into tears---sads?----and screeching and I had to hold him until the thunder in him passed.
Charlie ran for the helmets and his glasses soon for a bike ride but again had to practice the fine art of waiting as Jim had a pre-scheduled phone call with Someone Important to be the conference keynote speaker. (Someone Important will be speaking.)
Raindrops were falling as Charlie started pedalling down the street, Jim fast behind him and calling back to me, "Keep your phone close!"
(I'm a 21st century autism mom, I thought, how could I not?)
And after the storm that had been waiting to rain down finally BOOMED, the strain gradually fell from Charlie's face and eyes, and (after dinner) from his insides: Charlie, I realized in retrospect, may have been nursing an upset stomach all afternoon---a sort of tempest in a tummy, if I may mix the metaphors.
First comes the BOOM, then the rain, then the damp peace after it's over.
(I'm a 21st century autism mom, I'm used to it.)