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What Last Made Me Cry - Writing Workshop

It's one of those madly busy days - waiting for the children to come home from  school.  I have the food ready.  They are sullen and co-operative when they come in.  It was extremely hot in the taxi and the weather - that numbingly hot early summer weather which we experience annually in north India - is beginning to grate.  Trying to keep to a routine, I coax them to eat, then to change their clothes and go for an afternoon rest - when they wake up in the cool of the evening, it will be so much easier to study with a refreshed mind.   According to my husband it's all very simple and I'm not a talented organiser.  But the kids have some fear of him.  Not so with me.  I try to force them to stick to the routine for their own good and I get no co-operation whatsoever.

They're watching television far longer than their father has ordered that they should, from the distant city where he works.  If I try to remind them, I know what they'll say.  Neil has control of the remote.  Mel is watching him like a hawk.  I should have known.  The slightest excuse and she lights on him.  Then the arguing starts.  Then within what seems like seconds, it gets physical, hair pulling, kicking and thankfully no punches, not yet.    Actually, I come in the middle and try to reason with them.  Little success.  The two of them are eyeing each other vengefully.  Two teenagers who really should know much better.

Then the thing which I dread most happens.  The mother-in-law intervenes.  Wicked children, ruining her sons life.  They do this every time.  Illegitimate children (which they are not) eating her son's money.  She will cut their names from the school register, she will throw them out onto the street.

No, she will not, I intervene.  What she is saying is totally out of  order and I tell her so.  Then the tirade of abuse starts in earnest.  Jabbing her finger at me, she blames me for ruining her son's life.  For giving him these useless children.  I am not a good woman, according to her.  I cook horrible food and don't clean the kitchen properly.  The tirade goes on and on.  I have to go and sit down.  At that point the tears begin to flow.

The kids gather around me, consolingly.  Don't mind her mum, they say.  We are with you.  My eldest daughter holds me tight and the elder son makes me tea.  The younger ones cling to me.  We'll get through this, we have each other, nothing else matters.  It's so true.

If nothing else, it brought the kids back into line...


Writing practise is always good.  For the past several weeks I have been participating in the Writer’s Workshop over at Sleep  is for the Weak authored by Josie George. >The third prompt for this week (Week 31#) was ‘What Last Made You Cry’ and this was the one which inspired me.

This post first appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 22/7/2010

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