The first year we moved to Doha the country received the most rain it had seen in years. It happened to be the week my parents came to visit and it also happened to be incredibly cold despite being 18 degrees outside. We drove to the beach with warm jackets and blankets, hung out for a few minutes so that my mother could say she put her toes in the Gulf and drove home. Over the years we have had our days of rain, but it is here and gone before the day is out.
Yesterday morning we rushed around the house as we usually do, the Muppets were yelling about missing library books, needing goggles for swimming and packing concert clothes. As I opened the door to go and pack the truck we were surprised to see the rain falling. My desert babies (the Middle and Youngest) immediately ran upstairs to change in to pants and the oldest and I packed up the truck. The Muppets mood was happy on the way to school and the three of them commented about how much they loved the rain and wished it would rain more often. By the time we had arrived at school we just had a light drizzle coming down on our heads. There was talk all day about parts of the region flooding because of extreme weather. We joked about the school being closed the following day but no one had their hopes too high considering the skies were blue and the sun was shining.
This morning I woke up and opened the curtains, it looked like it had rained a little over night since the back garden was still wet but nothing serious. We packed up for a busy day of school, the muppets had a pajama day, Thanksgiving Celebrations, movie day and hockey in the evening. I told the boys that I wanted a photo of them in their pi’s to send to grandparents and we made our way out to the front step to take the annual photo. The youngest opened the door first and shouted “OH MY GOSH LOOK AT THE RAIN” The four of us ran to the door way, it was coming down in buckets and I stood there for a moment trying to remember which cupboard the Canadian Rain coats were in and if we had any umbrella’s in this country.
I got all three boys and all of our gear in the truck with out getting completely soaked and we made our way out of the compound. The oldest Muppet started freaking out, “Mum this weather is terrible I don’t think we should be driving in this rain!” I told him that I had driven through much worse and that it was only a little rain. It was more than a little rain, the street next to the compound was already flooding and this country has no drainage system a downpour like this is a big problem. We drove out on to the main road and slowly made out way to school, the traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and we pulled in to the school super early.
Half the parking lot was already under water so I decided to park on higher ground and hope for the rain to stop before we had to enter the school. It started raining harder and I decided to try and drop the kids off right at the gate so that they wouldn’t be totally drenched! I stepped out of the truck on to a fast moving stream up to my calves, as I made my way up to the guard house one of the security guards told me we couldn’t be on campus yet for security reasons. I ran back to the truck as quickly as I could but I was already totally soaked. I threw off my drenched flats and we parked in the parking lot and waited to see what was going to happen. For a few minutes we watched as security, teachers and leadership staff assessed the situation. Then the text came school was cancelled due to unsafe conditions, it was officially a “Rain Day”.
The Muppets were ecstatic, however they quickly changed their tune after we had been stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. The who city was a mess, streets were underwater or closed and people were making their own detours through sanded areas. Pick up trucks were pushing small cars through the deep waters and police were out in full force trying to direct traffic.
When we finally arrived home the Muppets went straight inside and changed in to their Crocs. The three of them had their scooters out of the house in seconds and were racing up and down the street splashing through puddles. The day was spent changing from wet clothes to dry clothes, mopping floors and drying Muppets. By 6:00 PM the puddles had started to disappear, Lucy and I found the Muppets and their friends enjoying one of the last big puddles on the street. The neighborhood kids drove bikes and scooters through the mucky puddle, every one of them soaked from head to toe and enjoying the last few minutes before they would be called in for a bath. It would be back to school the next day for most of them but lucky for us it is Thanksgiving weekend.
As I walked my drowned rats home the youngest muppet told me how excited he was for turkey day tomorrow “You know what I am thankful for Mama” he said with his toothless grin “Rainy Days!” I agreed that even amongst the chaos and madness it was a pretty great day. We have had a Sand Day and a Rain Day now living in the desert, nothing compared to the Snow Days in Canada but we will take it if it means an extra long weekend.