Miss Emily had her tonsils out yesterday, so I coaxed the Tempo into reverse, begged it into first and pleaded with it to make it to Caballo Ranch Road, where I proceeded to take charge of the twins and John Paul, as well as Mamaw and Papaw S, when they arrived. And I discovered the convenience of a spatula-rod-of-discipline stuck in my back pocket. Truly, I enjoyed myself. The children were quite well-behaved, and when they weren’t, a quick remedy was applied to the behind which soon restored them to cheerful obedience. It was one of the most extensive 40 hours of my life. And I loved every minute of it.
I’ve always wanted my own children, but used to be so afraid because I know the responsibility is so huge. And it still is. And I still am half afraid. But the rest of me longs so much for little ones to hold, and guide and train up in the way they should go. I used to be terrified that I would spank in anger, but I never once felt angry with the little Si. Nor even irritated. I truly did spank them for their own good. And they responded. After each spanking, they would cry “Mommy!” (which they call me half the time, anyway) and throw their arms around my neck, wanting to be hugged and forgiven.
But I know how much I still have to learn. It’s such good practice for me. I find it is also a little dangerous, since it stirs up again those hidden desires—for marriage, for a home of my own to care for, for children of my own to hold, a husband of my own to please.
Last night I lay on the couch, alone in the dark, listening to the clock tick and gulping back tears because I cry too much these days. Mother by proxy, but completely, entirely, wholly single. Why does this have to be so hard?
Lord, my heart I thought to guard
Has proved a task so bitter hard
That I relinquish it to Thee.
A better guard I know Thou’ll be.
Stand a blameless sentinel
Before the door I know so well
That every dream or thought or plea
Must bear Thy holy scrutiny.