Paper Boat Races
Paper Boat Races
Sam laid on the rug coloring in his favorite trucks coloring book. His feet tapped on the floor while soft pitter-pats of the rain hit the window. Lily pressed her forehead against the dewy glass.
“Why won’t it stop raining?” Lily looked through the window at the little stream that ran along the side of their yard. The water in it hurried like Lily did when she was late for the school bus.
“I like the rain,” Mom smiled, “My daffodils were looking droopy yesterday. This rain will do them good.”
“But can’t they get rain tomorrow? I don’t like being stuck inside.”
Mom rubbed Lily’s back. “You don’t have to be stuck inside when it’s raining.”
“What would I do out there, except get wet?” Lily said.
Mom laughed. “I think it’s time to teach you and Sam about paper boat races.”
Mom asked Sam to find her one of his old coloring books, then carefully tore out two pages, handed one to Lily, then grabbed another for Sam.
Lily followed her mother’s instructions, folding the paper this way and that way until she had a little paper boat.
“It kind of looks like a hat,” Lily laughed.
“It does,” Mom agreed. “But have you ever seen a hat win a race?”
Lily laughed, “No.”
“Well this one might.” Mom said, holding up the boat she’d help Sam fold.
Mom handed Sam his boat and helped the kids put on their raincoats and boots.
The three of them huddled under Mom’s yellow umbrella and walked to the stream. Lily held her boat tightly under her jacket, trying to keep it dry.
“There!” Mom pointed at a flat spot on the bank of the stream. “That will be the starting line. And here,” Mom held a long branch across the water about ten yards away from the starting line. “This branch will be the finish line.”
Lily and Sam ran to the start line.
“Don’t let go ‘til I say to!” Mom shouted.
They gently put their boats just above the rushing stream, holding tightly to the tip of the boat.
“On your marks. Get set. GO!”
Lily and Sam let go. The boats raced toward the finished line.
They cheered their boats on. Sam’s boat bounced along bumping into rocks while Lily’s boat smoothly sailed between them. Lily’s boat was the first to hit the branch at the finish line.
“And the winner is... LILY!” Mom roared.
“Again! Again!” Sam chanted.
“Your boats are too soggy. I’m not sure they’ll float long enough for another race.” Mom said.
“We could make more boats! I remember how!” Lily suggested.
Mom grinned at Lily, “That’s fine by me.”
The two didn’t wait for Mom’s yellow umbrella, but ran into the house, peeling off their wet boots and coats at the door.
Lily grabbed two new sheets from the coloring book and folded them into two small boats. Mom helped them get their wet coats and boots back on again and followed them back to the stream under the shelter of her umbrella.
It was Sam’s boat that pulled ahead first this time. They raced along the bank, trying to keep up with the bobbing boats.
“Go! go!” they screamed again. This time Sam’s boat touched the finish line first. They pulled the dripping boats out of the stream and looked at one another.
“Wanna do it again?” Lily asked.
“Yup.” Sam answered, running ahead.
Lily waited and walked in with Mom this time.
“I wish it rained like this everyday,” Lily said.
Mom laughed, “You do?”
“Now I do!” Lily said, grinning.
Mom hugged Lily from the side. “I’m pretty sure my dandelions feel the same way.”

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