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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)

TITLE: The clock strikes Ten
By Zuanne Joubert


“When you get older your mind is the first to go” one said “Yip, going down is easy, getting up is much harder!” Two wise comments from two little boys, twelve and eleven years old. The wisdom beyond their years, stunned me. Is it the result of living with an irresponsible alcoholic parent, a mere observation, or did they hear it somewhere? Maybe all children are born this way these days.

Development is about people’s commitment to changing. The clock of ancient wisdom has ticked down one decade since walking out on him and his promises. It was clear nothing has changed in his life. Only now he says he is a working and willing fulltime father. Up to now he accepted the play-play father role, but he was unwilling to accept actual financial responsibility. He did not yet understand what being a father meant.

More of a temperamental child than a nurturing, paternal figure, he seems without a splinter of patients, often feels depressed and repressed. The magic secret concoction to a good mood is kept in a glass and when reality goes blind, he turns out unstable, yet adoring. This expert enchanter still has the notion that he is irresistible to the female kind, he believes the ideal weight for a woman should be no more that 55kilograms and that she should color her hair blond if she wants to be seen in his fancy car.

Futile sacrifices, blind is his game, silly ideas, pays of in pain, there is no soundness in it. Should his lover be warned to find her wings and fly away if she can? Would she still struggle on towards a cure, or would she slip away in the breeze? And if she stops being a clown hosting a smile and run away from the responsibility, who would take care of the two boys, and who would care for the playful father?

Only through our children do we learn the true meaning of responsibility. Again I took a chance and let them go, gave him the opportunity he said he'd been waiting for, for 10 years. He was working now, earning his own income, his Fathers millions depleted, by his fun loving son.

Our two boys wait for him to get home every night. Their school work has improved, and their responsibilities increased, cleaning dishes and making beds. While visiting one week, to care for the boys while he is away, I noted there seemingly peaceful life. They play cards and games after school until they hear the powerful engine zip into the garage. He has a drink, then another, start with dinner, assist with school work and then chases them to bath and bed, while he cleans dishes.

On weekends they can be bought with a burger and a play station game to stay home, while tipsy Daddy paints the Town. They do not seem to mind, only occasionally one would mention with a smile: “You’re late Daddy!” Like a faithful loving wife, they’d wait for his safe return, sometimes putting him to bed late night – or early morning, before finally going to bed.

Breeding ground for co-dependence. Yet I am unable to change the situation without animosity. The boys are feeling so ‘responsible’ for their Dads happiness, that they do not want to come back home, “Who would care for Daddy?” is the argument. And I rationalize that they're actually keeping him from being institutionalized, “That is a good thing, isn’t it?” Argues my co-dependent heart with my most inner, sane self.

He left them home many nights yet evil climbed the fence and entered the unlocked back door in the middle of the day. This time he was at work. Two young thieves left casually on foot with only a few items that could fit in a small bag. The boys were tied up and gagged. They cried, they said. My heart shrunk, was I to make this of as ‘nothing’, would he leave them alone again at any time? Would they allow him?

“God I have no answers to these questions. You are my God; in You I trust. Keep them safe from hidden dangers, cover them with your wings. Let them not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day, let no violence come near their home. Save them, because they love You” (Psalm 91:3,4,5,6,14)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 08/04/06
The Title got my attention, but wasn't mentioned. Patience, not "patients", and Their, not there; but aside from these little spelling goofs, it sounds like a very sad person writing about two very dear little boys who need help and guidance. Not sure exactly what the message was - but gave me food for thought. Thanks for sharing.