A good life

Young lady, you have your hands full.

I let the restaurant door close behind me and did a head count.  One.  Two.  And.  Three.  I smiled at the man who sat on the bench outside the restaurant.  It was a forced smile, one given to strangers as I handled the boys. Tonight they were on the verge of rebelling.  It was almost bedtime.  They were tired.  They are not usually out this late.  I had fed them sugar to give them something to do.  Now I hustled them out of the restaurant to keep them from fighting, yelling, and flinging toys.

I looked across the cement courtyard at the man.  He leaned back, rolling a cigarette.  His hair was long and greasy. His voice held the giggle of someone who was that side of tipsy.  But I recognized what he was.  He was a cowboy.  His speech, his slouch, his manner gave him away.

The Cowboy: Three boys?

Me:  Yes.

The Cowboy: (chuckled) You do have your hands full.

Tornado E climbed a rock.  Tornado S sat on a bench swinging his legs.  Tornado A stared at the man.  I shifted Tornado A in my arms.

Me: Never a dull moment.

The Cowboy: I bet.  They keep you busy?

Me: Yup, but that’s life.

The Cowboy: Yup.  That’s life.  Handsome boys too.  They take after their mama.

Me: Thank you.

The Cowboy: Enjoy them.  They grow faster than you know.  All mine are grown, except one in high school.  And now I’m a granddad.  It’s a good life.  (I smiled)  But you’ll never be done.  They’ll always need you.

I gave a mocked groan.

The Cowboy chuckled and licked his cigarette.

The Cowboy: Yup, it’s a good life, young lady.  Enjoy them.

He stood up, sauntering passed us to go down wind.

The Cowboy: Boys, you take care of your mama.  That’s your job.

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2 Responses to “A good life”

  1. Fiona Mc Callion Says:

    A lovely moment! Something to think about, eh? A real cowboy, too… 🙂

  2. Kat Says:

    I love this post, it makes my heart happy


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