I parked my car in the garage, and sat inside the car for a couple of minutes. i longed for a minute of silence before I drowned in a world of chaos. Being a single parent was tough, and trying to manage twins along with a high paying job was crushing me. I knew that it was only time before i cracked completely. My baby sitter was waiting for me at the door with a scorn. I mumbled an apology for being late. According to her “The Imps (as she called them) would show her Hell everyday on Earth”. My daughters were’nt naughty, they would go that extra level to make Dennis the Menace look nice.
I wondered what the little imps were up to. As soon as I stepped inside the house i was mobbed by Ria and Aria. I was almost knocked over. A flurry of words hit me, complaints about teachers, about the baby sitter and news from school was thrown at me in less than a minute. The human mind is designed to consider a million facta at a time but right then nothing made sense to me. I tried to calm them down, put them back in their study rooms and went to make some dinner.
I found their lunch bags strewn about. I noticed that Aria’s lunch box was left untouched. “Aria, you have not touched your food!” I yelled. “I didn’t like it” was the reply. “What do you mean “you don’t like it? You eat this at home, and so does your sister”. “I don’t want to eat that at School, and Ria she didn’t eat it she dumped it in the trash”. The next moment they were on each other. I had to take three blows from their small hands before i could pull them apart. “Didn’t you eat anything today?” “No, we didn’t”. I stood there defeated, deflated by their defiant reply. The harder I tried to bring my life under control, the more it seemed to spin out of control.
The door bell sounded. The two set off, I had hardly moved when I heard them squeal and soon they were all over her. It was such a relief to see her at home. She waved her magic on the kids and everything would seem perfect. She became busy with the kids while I tried to make dinner. Dinner was a quiet affair, and the twins were quiet too. She didnt like it when soemone spoke at the dinner table. The twins followed every word of what she said. They were angels when she was around.
I took a bottle of wine and was lost in thought. She walked over ruffled my hair and asked “Looking worried?” I told her about the earlier incident. She gave me a smile and said “You are learning a lot about being a father aren’t you?”
Her life seemed perfectly under control, and that was bothering me. “Do you think, this is funny, seriously I do not know what to do with them, I am facing a dead end here. But with you around they are the perfect kids.” I finished my tirade with a hopeful “Why don’t you stay with us?” She looked up calmly, partly amused at my outburst and then asked me “If you wanted my help why didn’t you ask me earlier?”
“I just couldn’t …I thought you wanted to be free and didn’t want to bother you with my problems. Now, things have become so worse, that I feel that I am not a good father.” She held my gaze and calmly said “How wrong can you be? You have always been someone who can be a motivation for others. I let you be free because you deserved to be.
I tried to stop her. Yeah, she continued firmly, your kids adore you, they love you. The only help that I can give you is this piece of advice “Never try to be the Perfect father, just be a good One”. I know you will come out of this. Now go get some rest, you look so tired.
It took about an hour for the meaning of what she said to sink in. I was trying to give them my life. I understood that they deserved the freedom that I got when I was a child, and knowing that set me free. The three women in my life. She had fallen asleep with the lights on. The twins had snuggled up to her. I switched off the lights, kissed them each on the forehead, and whispered “You are the best Mom”.