Before I can sit down with my family, half of the kids are pleading to be excused.
“They’re waiting! Come on, Moms. Let us go. It’s gonna be dark,” they all say.
I wave them away while biting my lip. “Just go. You have 30 minutes,” I yell after them.
The Man looks at me from his end of the table. He’s smiling. “I think this is called community,” he says.
I simply stare at him and hold my words steady-like. “Our house and our yard have not belonged only to us in over nine days and I’m about to snap,” I say. “I can’t mother all of these children and frankly, I don’t even want to. I just want them to go home and I want to sit on my porch without a pile of children staring at me.”
“And besides just that, I’m tired of people knocking on my door and needing stuff and making me feel like I have to serve cookies 18 times a day,” I say. “I don’t like the whole of my day being summed up in cookies served and hineys wiped. I’m good at other stuff and this part-time childcare gig in my yard every day keeps me from doing the stuff I’m good at.”
The Man smiles at me again, “Yeah, but we live here and the longer we live here the more the lines between us and them become blurred. And I think Jesus calls this place we’re in community.”
I stare at him from my end of the table and all I want to do is wipe that smile right off of his face, but I don’t. I simply leave the table.