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You Deserve A Break Today

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It’s 6 o'clock on a Friday night. I am standing at the sink hand-washing dishes. It’s almost dinnertime but we have no clean forks because I neglected to load the dishwasher last night.

The pasta noodles are boiling behind me and the kids jumping in and out of my view as they run from the living room, down the hall and back again. They are beaming bean bags at one another as they run.

Their belly laughs echo through the vaulted ceiling. I hear a crash in the next room, then whispering. I sigh out loud. I have no desire to investigate what they have broken. My head is pounding. My husband has joined friends for happy hour, which I encouraged earlier in the day. What was I thinking?

I can’t get McDonald’s 1970s “You deserve a break today” jingle out of my head. But I don’t crave a Big Mac, fries or a Coke. No, I need something stronger than that. My mind wanders to our fully stocked wine rack.

The boys are on fall break. Break? Who came up with that? It’s not such a break for parents. Don’t get me wrong, I love to spend time with my boys but as they get older, their levels of entertainment change.

My three year old still loves to do puzzles and play games with me. But if the game doesn’t include some kind of remote, it is a struggle to capture the older boys’ interest.

They are active and busy boys. Which means when they are on break, I am more active and busier than usual. When everyone is home, I find myself traveling from room to room in a never-ending struggle to straighten and clean up.

After a week of no school and my continuous planning and execution of five “days of fun,” I am exhausted. I am actually looking forward to retreating to the grocery store when my husband arrives home. I am secretly thankful that we are completely out of eggs, bread and cheese sticks.

I glance at the clock as I call my boys to the dinner table just as the phone rings. I want to sing Hallelujah when I realize that it is my husband calling to tell me he is on his way home. I use this time to break the news that I need to go out once he gets home.

“I’ll stop by the store,” he tells me. “It will save you a trip.” I have no response as I watch an entire glass of milk spill from the table and puddle into a white mess on the floor. Another hour and a half, I think to myself as I help my son reach the paper towels.

As I look at the sweet faces of my boys as they chatter back and forth, I suggest a game of Uno after dinner to pass the time before my husband arrives. After that, I am getting that glass of wine and soaking in the bath. I do deserve a break today. Doesn’t everyone?

Edited by Malu Banuelos

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