Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Steadfast Walls

On most days, one of my six children is “THE ONE:” the One that I brace for at the beginning of the day; the One that is testing all the boundaries; the One whose head butts against authority, reason, and the laws of nature all day long.  I am the wall, and there is at least One who bashes into me. I plant my feet, remind myself that I must stay strong for the child's good, and I brace for impact. Again. And again.
Sometimes, when daddy comes home from work, I complain to him. Sometimes I ask his advice, and we brainstorm.  Sometimes I demand that he keep "that one"out of the kitchen while I cook OR ELSE.

On the really bad days, I say nothing at all. I notice that he has come home, and my muscles instantly relax. I can stop being the wall! Another wall is here, and he should have all kinds of strength left in his body! I am relieved, I let my guard down, and I start to feel how exhausted I am from being the wall all day long. I feel the bruises, and I nurse my wounds. He probably doesn’t notice, but he will when the next conflict erupts. 

Soon, screaming commences, feet come running, and, strangely, I do nothing. It’s like I’m not even there. Someone is mad about someone doing something and all I can do is look vaguely towards the little people and think how tired I am.  And then dad intervenes, and I am vaguely guilty and vaguely relieved and so, so tired.

Sometimes walls just go numb, and then they collapse. 

And the children would get out, were it not for backup walls shaped like daddy.


  1. you and me both sister, you and me both. sigh. Thank God for our husbands.

  2. SO true. Echo Melrose: Thank GOD for our husbands.


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