Another extract from Brian Doyle’s, Leaping: revelations and epiphanies.
I am rich in children, but they are driving me stark raving muttering insane.
I think there are three of them, but they sprint through the house and scream piercingly and slam doors and pee in the bushes and break action figures at such a rate that I am not altogether sure sometimes how many children or action figures there are in the house.
The children call me names and use bad words and hide clothes under their beds and take their mother for granted and get sick all the time and cough darkly on me and put their muddy feet on the couch and throw mud balls at the house and pour milk on the porch. They have broken two windows and cracked a door. They have dug a pit in the yard big enough to trap a car. They hide shoes in the freezer. They lose their homework, their hats, their jackets, their backpacks, their tempers.
Yet when they are sick they drape themselves on me like warm shirts, which I love, and they leave me notes sometimes in my shoes, which I love, and they have honest loopy handwriting, which I love, and now all three of them can read, which I love, and they read aloud by the fire at night, which is the coolest sound I have ever heard, and when they hug me they hug me desperately and powerfully, and they murmur like small owls when they are sleepy, and they are hilarious twice a day and sometimes, not very often, not as often as I would like, they turn to me and cup my grizzled face in their grubby hands and do the Vulcan mind-lock thing, their sea-green eyes drilling into me, and that is when I am most sure that I am a man wealthy beyond words in the only coin that matters, love, harried though it may be.
I would (almost) give my right arm to be able to write like Brian