The banging and clanging was enough to set the hair on her neck on edge. She grew impatient with the boys' constant racket. She'd taken them to the beach the day before, trying to get some reprieve. Sometimes it was better to take them somewhere; it would at least mean she didn't have to pick up the house fifty times a day. But this time, the twins had taken turns sprinting toward the water and therefore, she did the same. It was January, not a time for swimming. Just for finding shells and throwing it in the water. For a walk and looking at your foot prints. A time for photographs with bright coats against a grey sky. A time for picking up sticks to write in the sand. Or stepping from rock to rock to rock with no plan or destination in mind at all. At least, that's what it had been when she was a child.
The boys loved the beach. They liked putting the sand in their mouths to see who would swallow the biggest handful. They liked poking at each other with the sticks, no matter how many threats she made about that. They liked sprinting toward the water, seeing how far in they could get before wimping out or getting caught.
At home they challenged each other to dangerous ends. They would pull out all the drawers in a dresser in order to climb as high as they could get. They'd chase the cat around as a team. She'd been a nice cat before the twins. Now she looked haggard and old. It made Carla feel guilty for having taken the cat in to begin with. She felt responsible for taking a sweet stray, and turning her into an abused housecat.
But she had faith that they would be kind still. She'd seen one take care of the other when he actually got hurt in their challenges. They saved their most ruthless and tenderest of moments for when they were alone, speaking their silent twin language.
People winked when they were younger and made comments about boys being boys. Then, she'd pictured them a pair of goal-scoring strikers on an unbeatable soccer team.
Now, people caste their eyes down, judging her and yet piteous of her at the same time. Now, other parents pictured police knocking on her door in a few years. Now, she pictured them beginning a revolution. Sure, they might still play soccer, but bigger things were in store for them. The world needed some bigger, better shit disturbers. Now, she was prouder of her rebels than she admitted.