Above the Law
Joanne Faries
Nauseated, I stumbled to the bathroom at 3 AM. I’d avoided the onslaught of office germs by hiding in the law library. However, this last week in court offered an incubator of influenza. The judge coughed instructions, the jury hacked and sniffled, and my client’s eyes glazed with fever. I was doomed.
After several hours of fitful sleep, I called the firm and admitted defeat. Fortunately my law clerk was prepared for a filing. Ever efficient, I began my flu on a Friday and would conquer it by Sunday.
One more visit to the bathroom, and I collapsed into bed determined to sweat and suffer quietly. My husband, Paul, was already immersed in stay-at-home dad duties. I could hear a murmur of voices from the kitchen, the patter of little feet in the hallway.
“Mommy,” Wide-eyed pre-K Amanda peered into the room. “Daddy said I should be quiet. Are you going to die?”
I coughed. “No honey, just fighting a bug. No hugs today. Be a good girl in school, okay?”
Solemn, she nodded and shut the door. In thirty minutes, Paul checked on me. “Ginger ale? I’m taking Amanda to school, and then running a few errands. You need anything?”
“Nope. Just sleep,” I whispered since my throat sizzled.
Paul left and I dozed.
Later, achy but thirsty I stumbled to the kitchen for a cup of tea. It was after noon and Paul was doing laundry. He tucked me into the living room recliner and brought me some Earl Grey.
Eighties music played in the background as I observed a daddy ballet – tuck, fold, talk to Tyler, our one year old.  Pivot, pick-up sippy cup, dangle keys, diaper change. Stretch, bend, cuddle, and read an alphabet book.
I sipped my tea, secure in the majesty of these proceedings. Phone call and doorbell answered. Tyler’s tears and giggles acknowledged. Paul swooped in and out of the room, a grande jete of motion. One handed vacuum with the baby tucked under an arm. Blocks built to be knocked down, over and over again. Another laundry swap, a round of Dr.Seuss rhymes read.
The tedium I expected evaporated with Paul’s expressions. He had an audience he loved and he gave Tyler chin chucks, tummy rubs, and goo-goo eyes with abandon. I don’t think he ever stopped moving, constantly wiping, swiping, and shining.
Why had I imagined a silent house during the day? As if I was the only talker - the litigator saving mankind. Paul spoke volumes to Tyler – gesturing, explaining, and enlightening our baby’s mind. Paul rose above the law – the Ten Commandments, the Four Freedoms, Common Sense, Bill of Rights, plus life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

First published: May 2015
© All rights reserved by the writer
Comments to the writer: