I have come to really appreciate, and even crave, the thirty or so minutes after supper. Sometimes we’ll all go do something together, like take a walk, and sometimes I’ll have somewhere to rush off to. But as a general rule, on a typical evening, I have that time to myself.
I’m not sure I’ve ever communicated to Jeff just how much I value this time. But I do. So Jeff, now you know.
He goes off with the kids and leaves me to clean up the kitchen while they play – whether with bouncy balls or golf clubs outside or with books or crayons in Charlie’s room. I turn on the iPod and get to work unloading and reloading the dishwasher. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but I’ll tell you what: it is so very peaceful. Just me and my thoughts and my prayers, humming along to the music and the clanking of dishes. And – the best part – I hear the joyful squeals of laughter coming from outside the kitchen window or from across the house as my kids delight in their daddy.
There are few things more stressful to me than waking up in the morning to a filthy kitchen. When I walk into the kitchen to fetch the kids their breakfast, I am more likely to start the day with a positive attitude if the counters are cleaned off and the sink isn’t spilling over with dirty dishes from last night’s supper.
This time in the evenings to tidy my home and catch my breath has become important for several reasons. And I’m grateful for it – for time alone with my thoughts, for a husband who loves his kids, and for the privacy of my kitchen, where I can dance around like an idiot. A happy and peaceful idiot.