Fifteen Minutes

The kids should have been in bed thirty minutes ago. I was folding towels that had recently come from the dryer. In a few minutes I’d be finished and the kids would be in bed. Then I could retreat to my desk, slip on my headphones and tune out.


And then Luca appeared.

“Dad, will you start a bath for me?”, she asked.

The bed is still covered in laundry. I’m tired. Why aren’t the kids?

Luca grabbed a stack of pants and put them away. She even grabbed her younger sister’s pants which means she’s working it.

I told Luca I’d start the bath water but she’d have to take it from there as I had more laundry to fold. But it wasn’t long before she asked if I’d wash her hair.

“After you shampoo, will you put on that one stuff that takes the tangles out?” she asked.

Although it was late, Luca wanted to chat. She’s excited to tell me about the report card she’ll bring home tomorrow. She tells me it’s exactly eleven days to her birthday, and she feels special because her grandpa Nordquist is flying into town a few days before she turns nine years old.

When you live away from family, it’s a big deal to see your grandparents on these occasions.

But I’m starting to understand that Luca wanted to talk as much as she wanted a bath. I’m glad I was there to listen.

Once she dried off and was wrapped in a plush purple robe, I sat her on the counter and ran a comb through her dark brown hair.

“See, dad, no tangles”

A few minutes later I was back folding laundry and thinking about how one can never know when the best fifteen minutes of the day will take place.

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