Can You Give Me a Minute?

Melissa Leddy

WaterAid America - our December sponsorI have two daughters, ages four years  and 10 months. Grace, who’s older, has been grappling with a crash course in Patience 101 since her little sister, Anna arrived on the scene in February.

For the most part, Grace is excelling in Patience 101. She’s learned to entertain herself with coloring books, dress-up clothes, and the occasional Disney Junior movie while I rock Anna to sleep in the nursery. Big sisterhood has also taught Grace the meaning of concepts like “Please save some of those Cheerios for Anna,” and “Now it’s your sister’s turn.”

There are times, though, when Grace’s four-year-old patience wears thin. These times, she’ll tap-tap-tap on the nursery door, whispering for me to come out and play with her instead of rocking Anna. Or she’ll wrap herself around my legs as I’m helping Anna learn to walk.

“Give me a minute, OK?” I find myself saying to Grace in these moments.

One day, my daughter surprised me with my own familiar refrain. “Mom,” she said, touching my hand and looking up at me, “Can you give me a minute?”

Give a minute.

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I squeezed her hand and told her of course.

Grace said she had just built a house out of Jenga blocks. She wanted to show me her handiwork. So I went to see. 

How often do we wish for something more? A bigger kitchen, a weekend getaway, just one minute to sip our coffee while it’s still hot? As moms especially, all we want is one simple minute.

Do we have anything more to give? After all the time and effort and love and money and heartache that goes into raising our children—the meals prepared, the loads upon loads of laundry, everything—do we have anything left to give?

My daughter taught me that the answer is “Yes.” Yes. Yes, we can give a minute.

It takes just one minute to look at a handmade house of Jenga blocks and say, “Wow, great job!” And in that minute, to see your child’s face light up.

It takes just one minute as you’re waiting for your groceries to be rung up, or your to-go lunch order to be processed, to ask the person serving you, “How are you doing today?” To take a moment to acknowledge that person and treat him or her as a fellow human being instead of fixating on your phone.

It takes just one minute to choose love over hate, to include instead of exclude, to hold a hand out to someone who could use a lift up.

Can you give a minute, just one more minute today, to make someone’s world a little better?

From now on, I’m going to try.

What about you?



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As moms especially, all we want is one simple minute.

Can You Give Me a Minute was written by Melissa Leddy exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.

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Melissa Leddy has been writing professionally for 10 years, although she won her first writing award at age nine in her childhood library’s annual short story contest. She grew up near Scranton, PA, home of Michael Scott and “The Office.” She attended college and graduate school at the University of Richmond and currently lives and writes in San Antonio. She works to integrate tips and inspirations for everyday living in all her writing. You can find her popular short fiction e-book "The Moms" on