New York City, June 9, 2014

★ Rain fell like the sprinklings from a produce-aisle vegetable soaker, as the now-seven-year-old went off to school. By the time the still-two-year-old left for preschool, it was a splatting downpour. The ambient spray floating and splashing under the umbrellas was as wet as an ordinary misty drizzle. The two-year-old’s feet in their rain boots splashed through flooded crosswalk gutters, the rest of him out of sight beneath his Central Park Zoo umbrella. Whitewater foamed over debris in the storm drains; West End Avenue was a confluence of temporary rivers. The two-year-old’s arms got tired and he needed an adult hand to reach out and support the top knob on the umbrella as he went. Once he let go of the handle and it went on without him for a step, till he yelled in dismay. By the time he arrived at school — after hugging the curve of the building across the street, to stay under the scaffold — his shorts were wet halfway up and his hair was flattened with the damp, but his shirt was mostly dry. By pickup time, the rain was down almost to a drizzle. The two-year-old had worn his boots all through school, but wanted his sneakers on. The wind gusted and more water fell, but it was hard to tell whether it was resurgent rain or just accumulation shaking out of the trees. The rest was gray, damp, uneventful coda.