Two Women Waiting

by Melva C. Lewis

Jean, I’m so tired of standing here pushing these strollers waiting for this bus, my feet hurt something awful. I’m tired of getting up so early that I can’t even make my kids breakfast in the morning. I have to go and take care of somebody else’s children and get them ready for school. You and me are out here walking and pushing these babies in strollers no matter how tired we are. These women don’t even work, they home all day. They’re young and they’re healthy. So why we gotta do it?

Girl, if I only had half of the money that these women have the truth is I would take care of my own children. I’d get them ready for school, fix some food, clean my house, wash my clothes, and still have time to relax. When Grady came home I would be all dolled up with my red rose lipstick, my hair all done and after three hours of resting at home, I would be ready for him. Oh yeah, I would be ready for him!

Jean, I don’t understand these skinny rich women. What do they have to be tired about? Why can’t they take care of their children? I’m glad for the money and all because we need it. I mean, we gotta pay the rent, we got to buy food, put clothes on our back, but really if I had 1/3 of their money girl, I could do so much. I wouldn’t hire anybody to take care of my children. I’d take care of them myself.

Don’t shake your head, Jean, you know you feel the same way. I’m sorry your man lost his job and keeps losing his temper. It’s not your fault the union can’t find him a job, and it’s not your fault that he has to do backbreaking work. Believe me, it’s not your fault.

Men sometimes, well a lot of times, act like it’s our fault. They come home all in a funk, looking for any excuse to shout and complain. Thank God Grady doesn’t put his hand on me. Boy, if he ever puts his hand on me he will lose that hand. Jean, I know you’re glad your George doesn’t hit you either.

Humm, all I say is let them carry on if it makes them feel better. You know they feel kind of lost not going to work every day. They need some way to feel strong and have some control. If shouting and stomping helps my Grady feel better, let him shout and stomp all he wants. I know he tries. He hugs the kids at bedtime and tells them stories about going fishing with his granddaddy when he was young. He told them life was hard down south, but the air was clean and smelled of peaches. He used to grow tomatoes right next to his momma’s green beans. He helped his brothers dig out potatoes in a small field right in the back of their old house. Life was good then. Yep, those were different times. But we got to have faith.

Faith and prayer Jean, faith and prayer. I know I complain about these women not taking care of their own kids, but Lord knows I’m grateful to have a way to earn some extra money. Especially with Grady hurt and unable to work after falling off the ladder.

But Lord if I ever got a hold of just a little bit of the money these rich women have, I would stay home taking care of my own children. Yep, cook Grady’s favorite food and bake him a delicious peach cobbler. When he got home all tired, a delicious meal and me, would be waiting for him.