Jenny watched as the sun’s blazing rays skimmed the horizon and gently closed the heavy draperies of the picture window facing the Pismo Beach coastline. For a moment she stood, eyes closed and took a deep cleansing breath before she turned to the dirty dishes waiting in the kitchen. She new that any moment one of the children would call to her; requesting homework help, to referee a fight, iron a shirt or find a lost toy.
She winced as she lowered her hands into the hot, soapy suds and felt around for the elusive sponge. Glancing at the clock she wondered if Larry was on his way home. He usually made it home in time for dinner, as she had been pushing the evening meal back later and later to accommodate his commute time. Jenny thought eating dinner together, next to prayer and devotions, was the most important thing a family could do on a daily basis.
A loud resounding thump, followed by the angry howl from Hannah, one of the 14 year old twin girls broke her reverie. She waited a moment before intervening, hoping that just this once the children would settle the disagreement without her input.
“MOM!” shouted Stella, Hannah’s identical twin and elder sister by 7 minutes.
“Tell Micah to get out of our room, Hannah is trying to study!”
Jenny sighed and wiped her hands on a the damp dish towel before turning to find out what the fuss was about. She a caught her reflection in the hall mirror when she stopped to pick up a stray shoe. The image caught her by surprise. Once an athlete with flawless skin and rich auburn hair, the person gazing back at her from the mirror was much different than she remembered herself to be.
Instead of the athletic, toned, runners body she expected; she saw a frumpy, overweight housewife with graying hair and tired eyes. “7 children and 20 years certainly takes a toll on a body” she murmured as she headed up the stairs. With every step Jenny took she said a short prayer to calm her heart and restore her patience. “Father God direct my words and give me wisdom”.
Jenny reached the landing just as Micah, her 17 year old first born rushed out of the twins’ room ducking his head as a hairbrush flew past his left ear and hit 8 year old Ruthie sitting in her room across the hall.