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The rain is drowned out the noise of the construction this morning. It pounded on the roof, shutters slammed from the wind. The rivers are roaring and muddy. The clouds roll over the Duomo in big dark blue billows, occasionally letting loose. The drops come down thick and heavy. Each one hitting the cobblestones with a smack. Then it picks up, pours. Umbrellas pop open in the piazzas and everyone moves closer to the walls of the buildings – the Florentine houses with overhanging rooftops shelter a strip of sidewalk from the storm.
“Che tempo di merda,” what shit weather, the old man mutters to the world as he shuffles by with a cane in one hand, dark green umbrella in the other, matching his tie. People push strollers past with enormous plastic covers shielding the kids inside. Teenagers refusing to use umbrellas run out the door of the high school, jackets held above their heads, as the bus pulls up and opens its doors. I run inside the apartment building with Giulio, just as it starts to let up.

Giulio and I head back out again later to the empty park. The two swings that usually are always occupied are wet, but empty. He laughs to the sky as he swings. No time limit on the dondole. It doesn’t matter if the slides are too wet to use.

But then, those big fat drops come down, and before I can get his rainboots attached from the swing, it’s pouring again, and we run under the jungle gym and sit together watching the rain from under the slide in the empty park. He wants to run around in the rain, and I know how he feels because so do I. But I think I already pushed it with getting out his rainboots and letting him splash in every single puddle in the park before this current downpour. And neither of us have rain jackets (not really a thing here for some reason) so we sit under the slide and we sing the ABC song, which he is getting very good at. Then I remembered another easy one – Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Done. Easy. I explained what it meant and even translated it into Italian so he really understood what this was all about, and I told him if he sang it long enough, maybe the rain would go away.

Soon he was singing to the heavens loud and clear wishing the rain would stop, figuring out the new sounds and words as he went, and when the rain finally petered out a few minutes later, his eyes got real big and he shouted his notoriously Italian VIVAAAA! and ran out into the puddles.

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