I Swear


I never swore before I had children.

After, I could give a sailor a run for his money.

I still remember when it all started.

Joseph was only a few weeks old. He had been up for hours, crying and screaming no matter how I rocked and coo’d and patted. Finally, my eyes bleary, my head aching, he settled.

I carried him to his bassinet and gently lay him down, moving an inch at a time. I slid my arm out from under his body, holding my breath as he snorted in his sleep. Freeing my arm, I turned with the stealth of a ninja and crept across the bedroom floor, turning the door handle silently turning the door handle. At that point, I would have done a cat robber proud. If there had been diamonds in the house, I would have been able to steal them with none the wiser.

I turned, slowly closing the door. The hallway was not lit. Chad stood in front of our bedroom door, so weary, he was swaying. In the dim glow of the nightlight, I saw him raise a questioning hand. I nodded and started to tip toe down the hall.

A jangle shattered the silence.

Maggie Dog walked down the hall, her tags clanking together. Plopping her butt in front of Joseph’s bedroom door she leaned on one haunch and started scratching her ear.

Her tags clanked and clicked, the noise like cymbals. Chad leapt towards her, reaching to grab her collar and still the racket.

But it was too late.

After only minutes of sleep, Joseph wailed.

Setting my forehead against the cool hall way, I heard myself cry a beleaguered (#*$&#!!!