As I start my work day, making the short commute first to the sink (etc) and then to my office, I am often greeting my the sound of precious young voices calling to each other. "Hello sister" "good morning mother" "may I go out to play?" followed by the soft scurry of sneakers down the wooden steps as they run to play in the few scant moments they have in the yard prior to school.
Then I wake up to the screaching sounds of reality. "get out of my way" "that's my ball, give it here" "Sheldon, If I have to tell you one more time to play nice with your sisters you are gonna get it" "I don't care, they started it. Go ahead and send me to my room. School starts in 15 minutes." And the parade of elephants runs down the wooden stairway. How does that set of steps not collapse. I am waiting for the day.
And I know the thunderous collapse will be accompanied by bratty children blaming each other and screaming at their mother "tell Sheldon to get off me. He always lands on me on purpose when the steps fall down!" "Sheldon get off your sister" "She started it. It's not my fault."
It's not far from the truth and amazingly enough I love kids. When we first moved into the house the twin girls were 4 and sweet as candy, blond hair and brown eyes. Pretty girls with a polite proud older brother, all of 7, protective and prince of the property. And somehow only a couple years later the lack of discipline has turned them into hellions. I've seen it before.
Sometimes I thank God that we're in a rental and the situation won't last too much longer. We'll move and remember the highs and lows. The sweetness and the shrieks.