First published in August, 2012
In the beginning, the first man and the first woman had two children. But the children were both boys so their mother felt like she had a dozen.
The earth was young and the boys were wild since they didn’t have any girls but their mother to tame them. They made weapons out of sticks and stale bread and pomegranate seeds. They chased the sheep and ambushed the chickens and managed to find mud in the desert.
They punched and wrestled and ran so much, some days their mother thought she might go deaf. Other days, she wished she already was deaf.
“That’s it!” the first mother shouted. “I’ve had enough!”
The boys stopped dead in their tracks and wondered if this might be the end of the human population increase.
But God looked down on the earth and had compassion on the first mother because she was the only woman in the entire world, which pretty much meant she was surrounded by savages.
So God looked out over the great expanse of all that He had made, but He couldn’t find any place in all that wild world that was soft and beautiful where a mother could rest. So He said, “Let there be an oasis in the middle of this great expanse, and let it be called ‘Inside,’ and let Us separate the ‘Inside’ from the ‘Outside.’”
So God put up four walls and a lovely flat roof and separated the Inside from the Outside. And God saw that it was good.
Then He told the mother, “You shall have dominion over all the Inside. You will put flowers on the table and crochet afghans for the bed and tame a cat to sit in the window.
“And you will lure the man Inside by baking things that smell good and occasionally undressing. Once the Man comes Inside, you will make him take off his dirty shoes and talk about his feelings.
“But if the Man leaves his greasy tools on your counter or uses your best knife to trim his toenails, you will send the Man Outside.
“And you will lure your children inside with bedtime stories and cozy blankets and sugar. You will teach them to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and not to put their fingers in their noses.
“But if the Children shave the cat and turn your best tablecloth into a slingshot and release something scaly onto your bed, you will send the Children Outside.
“Then, you will sip a cup of tea, make quiche for dinner, and paint something.”
The woman smiled.
So it came about, after a surprisingly short period, that the Children spent a lot of time Outside.
And the Man built himself a garage.