by Terri Welch
My bare feet patter on the stone floor. Today is no day for shoes - midsummer heat smothers everything, except the stone beneath my feet. It stays cool, no matter what.
I wish I were cool no matter what.
If I were, the curtain rail would still be hanging over the window instead of almost in the sink. Curtains: Nil, Tantrum: One.
A bumblebee thuds into the window then flies away, unharmed, leaving a mark on the glass; another thing for me to clean.
"Breathe..." I tell myself.
Laughter bubbles in from outside where the children play in spray from the sprinkler. Rudy watches from the shadow of his umbrella, the book on his belly unread. Watching the children is more fun. The book is just window dressing.
Remorse sets in. He didn't deserve to be shouted at like that. He's a good father, a good husband.
Resentment takes over. I should be outside with them, not stuck inside, constantly cleaning up after them!
I push the curtains out of the way and start on the dishes. My mother's voice echoes in my head, "Ah, the joys of motherhood, Katie."
A tear squeezes down my cheek. I miss my mother and wish she were still around.
I wish I knew why I was so damn upset today!
Then all thoughts freeze and I count days backwards.
A smile starts from my cool bare feet and spreads upwards.
I wonder how the twins would like a new brother or sister?