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|When their daughter was born, Sarah Breckenridge wanted to name her Rain. “Rain?” her husband Craig asked. “Really? Like thunderclouds and soaked shoes?”
“No,” Sarah answered. “Like a nourishing shower on a warm spring day, like today. See?” Craig looked out the window. Rivulets of nourishment were wandering down the panes of the hospital window overlooking the parking lot.
Naming the baby, that’s not my job, thought Craig. “Okay,” he said. “Rain it is.” But he called her Marissa, her middle name, the rest of the week.
When Rain was four, Sarah wanted to enroll in an art class and put Rain in daycare. “You’d have to pick her up every day,” Sarah said to Craig. “Class goes until 6:00.”
That’s not my job, thought Craig. I can’t get away from the office that early. “Okay,” he said. But he was late picking Rain up many afternoons thereafter.
Late one Saturday night when Rain was 16, Sarah awoke to the sound of the front door opening. She heard Rain push the door closed with a bang, flop down onto the sofa, and burst into tears. Sarah jostled her husband. “Craig,” she whispered. “Rain’s home, and she’s crying.”
“Boyfriend,” Craig mumbled, and thought, That’s not my job. Sarah slipped from under the covers and padded down the hall into the living room. With a grunt, Craig rolled over and went back to sleep.
The day Craig and Sarah drove away from Rain’s college dorm for the first time, they left their daughter on the sidewalk, staring at the back of the departing family Subaru and still clutching the backpack she’d carried since middle school. Sarah looked over at Craig and saw tears streaming down his face. “Thought you were going to be tough,” she said.
“That’s not my job,” Craig replied.