21 Aug 2014
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Twenty Minutes Of Freedom

Twenty minutes alone is an eternity when you haven't been alone in weeks

Twenty Minutes Of Freedom

My husband isn’t working today. And he has taken pity on me.

He just pulled out of our driveway in the minivan with all four of our kids. They are going to the hardware store down the street.

Do you understand what I am saying?

I have 20 precious minutes all to myself! Now, how to spend them….

The sheer thrill of it is almost too much for me. I am overwhelmed with the quiet.

I compulsively wipe the kitchen counters. Then the table. Then the counters again.

What am I thinking?! Now I only have 18 minutes left.

What to do, what to do.

I guess I could wash my hair for the first time in three days, but I’m all out of shampoo and I’d have to use no-tears bubble bath. That probably wouldn't help much with the frizz factor.

But look at this floor… it looks like an army of ants could stage a hostile takeover at any moment. Jedidiah must’ve been eating leftover toast crust out of the trash can again. I should get the broom…

No! This is my time. My own time.

I could watch TV, I guess, but that would involve the risk of seeing some fashion-forward twenty-something in skinny jeans talking about how she’s stressed because her favorite designer is on strike and how full she is because she just ate a carrot. I just don’t think I can handle that right now.

I’ve got it. I could read my Bible. I could get some prayer time in – you know, something besides, “Lord, please let me be able to sop up this milk out of the couch cushions before I freak out and lock them all out of the house” or the big one where the stars are all aligned: “Please, God, let their naptimes coincide today.”

Or maybe I should get on the elliptical machine and work on getting rid of some of this leftover baby fat.


Oh no! The dog just barked! Does that mean they are pulling back in the driveway already?

It can’t be! I’ll run and peek out the window. Whew. Just a UPS truck driving by. Okay. I still have ten minutes. Ten minutes alone is like an eternity when you haven’t been alone in weeks. I can do this. I can make it count. I’ve really got to make a decision here, though. Okay, go.

I could take a nap. I certainly could use one. The bags under my eyes have made the switch from Ziploc-size to backpack size. I collapse onto the bed and close my eyes. Will I really feel any better after only a ten (make that eight) minute nap? Probably not.

I sit up.

Eureka! I’ve got it. I’ll make myself a French Vanilla coffee and read the first chapter of the book I checked out at the library seven weeks ago.

Ahh. Coffee in hand. Turn the page. Chapter One.

“Woof!” says the dog.

And… they’re back.

So much for my twenty minutes.

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