I wanted a break- just 15 minutes for mom. Now I see that I’m getting them. They are just different than I expected.
This post was originally posted on Pondering Jane in October, 2010.
I was walking aimlessly through the clothing section when I heard over an employee’s walkie-talkie, “Lydia, why don’t you go ahead and take your 15?”
In that moment at Target I thought, “I want my fifteen”. And I want a lunch break.
I could casually cut my salad and slowly take a bite after turning the page of my book. Maybe I’d dine with friends or colleagues and know that I likely wouldn’t return with spaghetti sauce or ketchup smeared on my shirt.
At said lunch I could have a conversation in its entirety, rather than using National Healthcare and butt paste in the same fragmented sentence.
Then I heard Lydia talking to a fellow employee. Her husband was bringing her kids in for a visit during her break. As quickly as the desire for a “fifteen” came I remembered why I had given them up.
I was thinking about this recently and realized that I do still get “fifteens”; fifteen minutes of both of my children happy, laughing and playing together. When the stars align perfectly, and they are both at their best, I hear them laugh in the same moment. I watch my three year old take the hands of my 10 month old so that he can dance with her, and Sydney smiles up at her big brother with complete adoration.
I spend a whole bunch of fifteens snoozing, all three of us together as I watch Owen reach in his sleep to make sure that Sydney is still there, next to him. There have been no fifteen minutes during my life that could compare to these.
These fifteen-minute breaks aren’t time to myself, or moments to accomplish tasks that need doing, but they are even more refreshing and restorative. They allow me the indulgence of simply absorbing all that is good about spending time with my children.
Though there are many moments during the week that I think I would give anything for just five minutes to myself; I remind myself that I have chosen a new understanding of relaxing. While it may not involve adult conversation, bubble baths or stain free shirts, it is far more satisfying for me.
These are a different kind of “fifteen,” but yeah, I still choose them.
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