Image of Short Story
Muscles tensed. Eyes slitted and glaring, although with hatred or fear it is difficult to know. Spittle flying along with invectives.

I am a wall. I am a wall. I am a wall.

I am not a very good wall. If this was the story of the three pigs I would be the house made of straw. Even my husband, usually calm and unflappable, is only made of sticks.

I snuggle against my youngest, savoring the moment. Will she turn against me too, in time? Scattering blame for everything from missing socks to missing assignments? Me absorbing most of this buckshot? Keeping me awake at night wondering where I went wrong to incur such wrath?

“You’re so lucky to have daughters. They’ll help you when you’re old.” Or she’ll move far away, never to speak to me again.

A sweet, intelligent toddler, now a belligerent teenager.

So I just follow the advice I was once given. Be a wall. Let it bounce off. Don’t react. And wonder if the person who offered this advice ever had teenagers of their own.