I suppose under the circumstances there’s really no point in complaining but really! Noah and I had just got accustomed to living alone and having some peace and quiet and fixing up the house the way we wanted it at last.
I brought up three boys,
wiped their runny noses,
changed their messy diapers,
washed, sewed, cooked,
saw to it that they had the proper advantages.
We got them safely married
(though if I didn’t know it before I know it now;
their wives leave a great deal to be desired).
We liked having them come to visit us
on the proper holidays,
bringing the babies,
taking enough food home to feed them for a week,
and Noah and I could go to bed in peace.
And now look what has happened!
Sometimes I think it would have been simpler
to have drowned with everybody else-
at least their troubles are over.
And here we are jammed in this Ark –
why didn’t the Lord give Noah enough time to build a big enough ark if He wanted him to build one at all?
The animals take up almost all the room and
Noah and I are crowded together with
Shem, Ham and Japheth,
their slovenly wives and noisy children,
and nowhere to go for a moment’s peace . . .
Not that I blame him . . .
It’s my daughters-in-law who get me.
They insist on changing the beds
every time I turn around.
They won’t use a towel more than once,
and they’re always getting dressed up and throwing
their dirty linen at me to wash,
the washing is easy enough – we’ve plenty of water –
But how do they expect me to get anything dry
in all this rain?
I don’t mind doing the cooking,
but they’re always coming out to the kitchen
to fix little snacks with the excuse that it will help me:
“You’re so good to us, Mother Noah,
we’ll just do this for you,”
and they never put anything away where it belongs.
They’ve lost one of my measuring cups
and they never clean the stove
and they’ve broken half of the best china
that came down to us from Grandfather Seth.
When the babies squall in the night, who gets up with them?
Not my daughters-in-law.
“Oh, Mother Noah’ll do it. She loves the babies so.”
Ham’s wife is always stirring up quarrels,
playing people off against each other.
Shem’s wife who never does anything for anybody,
manages to make me feel lazy and
mean if I ask her to dry one dish.
Japheth’s wife is eyeing Shem and Ham;
she’ll cause trouble; mark my words.
Today that silly dove Noah is so fond of
came back with an olive twig
on his beak.
Maybe there’s hope that we’ll get out of
this Ark after all.
We’ve landed! At last!
Now we can get back to normal and
have some peace and quiet
and if I put something where it belongs
it will stay there
and I can clean up this mess and
some sleep at night and –
Noah! Noah! I miss the children!
By Madeleine L’Engle
I came across this writing in our schoolwork today, and it really made me think about “attitudes.” I wonder what Noah’s wife’s attitude was like when he said they had to go into this ark, and all this rain was coming. Did she really believe him? Did she tease him? Did she fear her life? Did she lose close friends? What was her attitude on the big boat like? What would MY attitude be like if my DH told me we were going to do something this strange? Would I give him all the reasons why not … would I tease him, and make fun of him to the children, or respect him, and encourage him, and have our children do the same? Would my attitude have been like this writing below? It makes me think too of when my children get married. Right now I cannot see it as “ready” for them to leave and having peace and quiet. I imagine the quietness will seem too quiet. I actually look forward to the grandchildren, especially as I see moms my age starting to go through this new stage of life. But, we are NOT close to that for awhile! Prayfully, it will give me time to have a good, servant’s heart attitude when we get to this new stage of our lives! I don’t want to be this kind of “Mrs. Noah”.
Mrs. Noah Speaking