George knelt on the sofa, staring out of the window, his toy train forgotten about at the first splash of raindrops.
“Lot lot rain,” he announced.
Fiona nodded, ruffling her nephew’s hair. “Yes. Lots of rain.”
There was a rumble of thunder. George’s eyes grew wide. “What that noise?”
“Thunder.” Fiona got his attention and made the sign for thunder. Their family had been using Baby Sign alongside verbal language for almost as long as it had been invented, a simplified version of sign language with a small core vocabulary and some signs modified to make it easier for children’s hands to copy. “You remember thunder.”
George nodded. “Storm.”
They watched the rain for a while until it began to ease.
“Mama wet?” George asked. His mother had taken his older brother to a birthday party and so Fiona shook her head.
“They’ll be inside now, with the birthday boy.”
“When my birthday?”
Fiona smiled. “Not until April.”
“I have birthday party,” George said in a tone suggested this was inevitable.
“If mum and dad say you can.” Fiona was not about to take the blame for agreeing to a party for a bunch of under-fours and the associated cost and chaos. “I think the rain’s stopping.”
George nodded and slid off the sofa. He ran out to the hallway and came back with his Wellington boots. “Feefee, I want play in puddles!”
Fiona nodded, having expected this the moment the sky had darkened. “We need to put our coats on but yes, we can go outside.”
“Hoo-ray,” George cheered, the way he always did, two distinct syllables. “Puddles!” He jumped up and down as if he was already splashing about in the wet.
As she watched George jump all around the garden, laughing and playing, Fiona almost wished she’d bought her own boots so she could join in. She settled for the vicarious pleasure of enjoying George being carefree, revelling in the aftermath of the rain.