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Take Ten

I could feel myself hurrying. Instead of my customary habit of moving steadily from room to room picking up errant articles that had somehow found themselves out of place, I was making more of a mad dash, probably missing most of the offending items. I woke up a little later than usual and thought that I had to make up for that extra ten minutes of sleep. Although I have a lovely alarm clock, most days I wake up automatically. My body was used to a certain rhythm and had always been this way. Plus, I have a terrific aversion to lateness. Probably more of a guilty mind issue, but nonetheless, being late made me angry. If I could maintain that anger at myself, there would be no problem, but I am prone to take it out on the next poor soul in my path. I quickly replaced the items in their correct homes and returned to the kitchen to make breakfast. Strangely, Junior was sitting at the kitchenette still in his pajamas. I thought he might be sick and started to feel his forehead. He brushed my hand aside and told me that he was just “taking ten.” I asked him what that meant. He went on ┬áto tell me that he was just taking a ten minute break before he dressed.

I glanced over at him while pulling out the eggs and bacon. He seemed to be just sitting there very calmly. I made some juice and checked the flame under the percolator. I popped four pieces of bread into the toaster and pulled out the butter and jam. Junior was still sitting. Remarkable. I was running around earlier like a chicken without a head and he was just sitting. I felt a little like I lived on a different planet. I asked him what his plans were for the day and he told me that Jack Frost was going to join him as they trooped through the nearby woods down to the creek. Visions of laundry entered my head. Every few weeks, the boys went to the woods and did boy stuff. I never participated in that kind of thing growing up but they always came home with jars of silt and minnows, new rocks and small trinkets. I offered to pack some lunch and Junior thanked me as he got up to presumably go to his bedroom and dress.

A few minutes later, Daisy came into the kitchenette, dressed but looking sleepy. She slid into a chair and asked for some juice. I kissed the top of her head and filled her glass. Daisy was a little slower at waking up but sunny in disposition after breakfast. I think she has too many loved stuffed animals in her bed with her and they keep her up. Apparently, some of them talk to her at night. Nothing scary, just annoying. I had Steve’s breakfast all ready when he came into the kitchen and he sat down and opened the newspaper after kissing my cheek. Steve is not a big talker in the morning, but after reviewing the front couple of pages, he folded the paper and started eating. I gave Daisy her plate and she slowly spread jam on her toast. Junior came into breakfast and I placed his plate in front of him. I made sure he had plenty of food so he wouldn’t get hungry on his hike. Steve asked the kids some questions about their plans for the day and how they were doing on their summer reading while I packed Junior some lunch. I placed extra crackers in the brown bag in case he took a break and needed a snack.

I have noticed one thing about the breakfast habits of my family. While they eat, they start to pick up the pace and move faster. Steve downed his last long drink of coffee after finishing his food, Daisy pushed the bacon pieces that she didn’t want to eat to one side of her plate and Junior took less breaks between bites. They all finished about the same time as if in sync with each other. I quickly snuck a note in Steve’s briefcase before handing it to him while he kissed the children good-bye for the day. Junior took his lunch bag and a canvas bag of secret supplies to meet Jack and Daisy suddenly remembered that she had promised Marie-Claire that they would play puppets this morning. Daisy apologized for leaving me all alone and gave me a little kiss on the cheek before running out the back door. There really were no apologies needed. I had decided that I was going to take Junior’s lead and “take ten” this morning and sit at the kitchenette with another cup of coffee. There was plenty of time to get everything done later.

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