The rain is coming down hard this Thursday morning, puddles forming in the grass and expand steadily. The thunder claps nearby, loud and hard, rattling the glass in the windows, so that even Atticus, normally unmoved to comment upon unseen phenomena, stops his business, forms an “O” with his mouth, “ooooh”s, and points to the window. This is an expression of wonder and not fear. He is, generally, fearless, but it’s nice that he seems unperturbed by this giant clanging. Will he sleep through such clamour, I wonder.
Later, with the rain still falling but thunder subsided, Atticus brings me one of his favorite books. The book, “Chicky Chicky Chook Chook”, is actually the first book I bought for him, purchased months before his birth, and tells the tale of three groups of animals as they play, nap, and then have their nap interrupted by a rainstorm. Atticus is an impatient listener. He knows the book, and sitting on my lap he rapidly flips the pages, eager to get to the climax of the plot: a two-page depiction of wide-eyed animals in the midst of a thunderclap. Many months ago, for added effect I began to shake the book in my hands as I hammer out the dramatic words: CRASH! BANG! WALLOP! The following page poses a heavily bolded question of behalf of the little, now very soggy, critters: What on earth was that? But the books quickly resolves itself, and Atticus’ attention is not held by the denouement. Today he leaves my lap, but sometimes he insists on an encore, and I’ll oblige, repeating the voice of the thunder with an even greater vigor. No, today he’s off to the cupboards, to the pots and pans.
The thunder outside has long since past, but there in the kitchen is a tumultuous clattering and a furious banging.