Why Rainy Days Aren't So Bad

It was a dreary Saturday afternoon. Zeke sat by the window and sighed heavily. He was sad. He’d already done his homework, but he still couldn’t go out and play baseball with his friends like he had planned. It was raining. Instead, he was sitting in the living room with his mom and little sister, Sarah, watching rain drops pitter-patter steadily on the window.

“I hate rainy days,” he moaned.

Zeke’s mom, Mrs. Jenkins, looked up from the book she was reading. "Why do you hate rainy days, Zeke?”

“Because they’re boring,” he whined. "You’re stuck inside all day where there’s no running, no playing tag, no baseball, no jump ropes, no swings, NO FUN!”

“There are plenty of fun things to do inside the house,” said his mom.

She started to get up. Zeke knew she was heading for the puzzles. Whenever it rained, she headed for the puzzles. He didn’t really like them much. Luckily, inspiration hit him.

“I know!” exclaimed Zeke. “I’ll play video games!”

A small clap of thunder rolled outside. The rain tapped furiously on the windows. However, that did not stop Zeke. He raced to turn on the video games.

“Why not color with me?” offered Sarah. She was on the carpeted floor with a coloring book and an array of crayons before her.

“Because that’s kid stuff!”

He sat on the floor with the Xbox 360 controller in his hand. Little skateboarders sailed across the screen, and the game sounds filled the room. His score went into the hundreds, the thousands, the millions, and on and on he went. He was having a great time, even though it rained.

Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of lightning and a huge clap of thunder.
The power went out.

Sarah screeched in fright. Zeke moaned, “Aw man! There goes my game!”

Everything was so dark. Zeke and Sarah could hardly see anything except when the lightning briefly illuminated the room. All they could hear was the rain and more thunder. It was spooky. Their mom set up some candles and hurricane lamps. Soon, the room was brighter and had a calming orange glow.

“What do we do now?” asked Zeke. “It’s too dark to do ANYTHING now!”

“Oh ye of little faith,” said his mother mischievously.

She pulled the arm chairs to the middle of the room. There was about three feet between the couch and the two chairs. Then she gathered several blankets.

“What are you doing, Momma?” asked Sarah.

“You’ll see.”

She spread the blankets over the tops of the couch and chairs to form a large tent and then made a quick trip to the kitchen. When she returned, her arms were filled with unscented tea candles, three forks, a bag of marshmallows, a box of graham crackers, and a bag of chocolate chips.

“Those are the ingredients for s’mores,” said Zeke. “But Mom, how are we going to make them? And why? We aren’t camping.”

“We’ll pretend we’re camping,” she replied and gestured to the blankets. “Look, we already have our tent! Here are our sleeping bags, and once I light these candles, we’ll have a campfire!”

They rolled out some sleeping bags and skewered marshmallows with their forks. Then, huddling around the candles, they roasted them and mashed them onto the chocolate and graham crackers. They all had to be careful not to burn their fingers. The s’mores tasted so good!

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could stargaze?” Sarah sighed.

Their mom smiled and went to the kitchen again. She came back with some paper and a flashlight. By making little cuts in the paper, she soon had made a starry sky that shone brightly on the ceiling when placed over the flashlight. The children made snowflakes out of coffee filters and pretended they were shooting stars. Lying in their sleeping bags, they all looked up at their hand-crafted, night sky.

“What if we discovered a new planet?” pondered Sarah.

“What if we met aliens?” pondered Zeke.

“What if I told you that you go into space tonight?” said their mom.

“How?”

“I think we have some empty cardboard boxes that you could turn into a shuttle and helmets."

“Yeah,” cried Zeke.

“I have crayons!” Sarah exclaimed. “We can use them to make the spaceship look pretty."

So it began. The rain had stopped by this time, but the children didn’t notice. Boxes were found, supplies were gathered, and then brother and sister set to work. They first built the mainframe for their spaceship by unfolding the box flaps and duct-taping them together, even making a point for the top. Next, Zeke worked with scissors and glue to cut out windows and attach fins to the body of the spaceship while Sarah scribbled stars, planets, aliens and other designs onto the cardboard. Finally, a door was cut so they could enter and exit their spaceship. However, there was one thing the tiny astronauts forgot.

“What are you going to name your spaceship?” their mom asked. “All spaceships have a name, you know."

The children had not thought of this before and it was turning out to be a tough question. Both tried to come up with names, but they couldn’t seem to agree. Sarah came up with names like Dolly, The Bunny Buggy, and Ballerina, but none of those names appealed to Zeke.

“It needs to be something that sounds like it’s from outer space,” he said. “Like Alien Buster, Sunspot, or Crater Invader.”

Sarah did not like any of those names. They continued until they finally agreed on the name of Rover 3000. Then they counted down and blasted off to Mars. They discovered a new planet which they named Cyborgarina. And they met so many wonderful cardboard aliens.

Suddenly, all the lamps flickered back on. The electricity was back, but Zeke and Sarah didn’t really care. They still had a thousand planets they wanted to visit, a million aliens they wanted to meet, and so many s’mores they had to eat before they fell asleep in their blanket tent under their own hand-made galaxy.

They turned the lights off and set a course for Saturn.

Why Rainy Days Aren't So Bad

DeeLishess

Eastpointe, United States

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Artist's Description

This is something I started years ago and finished for my Children’s Lit class two semesters ago. It’s basically to encourage kids to use their imaginations, especially when the lights go out, instead of always reaching for the video games. It’s also to encourage parents to play with their kids. My mom did the snowflakes, “camping,” and blanket forts with me. These are fond memories of my childhood that I’ve chosen to incorporate into the story. :)

Artwork Comments

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