I woke up Tuesday morning with this idea in my head, then found that The Red Dress Club had a prompt for a story about a Detour. Do you think it fits?
Whoever told her it was a good idea to have children at a young age while she still had lots of energy grossly underestimated the amount of energy two children in diapers require. Not to mention the fact that “Mommy Brain” was a very real condition that would prevent her from concentrating on anything more complicated than whether she was out of size two diapers or size four.
Her husband was working late, putting in extra hours so she could stay home and take care of the kids. Having dropped out of college during her first pregnancy, most jobs she might be able to get wouldn’t be worth the cost of daycare anyway. Denbora listened to the blessed sound of silence. Both kids were asleep… at the same time! Finally, a moment of peace. She could catch up on the laundry, or sort the pile of shoes, or…
Denbora retreated into her bubble and sealed it shut. She pushed the button. “Just an hour…” she promised herself. “Just an hour this time…”
After an hour, she felt much better. She reassured herself that both her children were sleeping exactly as she’d left them, and attacked the pile of mismatched and worn out shoes.
She promised herself she would only use the bubble when she absolutely needed it, but she found she needed it more and more. By the time her youngest left for Kindergarten, people were no longer remarking on what a young mother she was.
Denbora resolved to stop using the bubble altogether, and she succeeded till the day they brought their third baby home from the hospital. She wished she could have stayed in the hospital just one more day, where there were nurses to take care of her and the baby, but the insurance company saw no real need, and the doctors sent her home.
Every time the baby slept, she retreated into the bubble, pushed the button, and cried. Sometimes it was far more than an hour. Sometimes, although she didn’t mean to, she fell asleep. It was quiet in the bubble, and she was never, ever interrupted. But she knew that each time she stepped out, no matter how long it had been, everything outside would be exactly as she had left it.
Her daughter thought she was a miracle worker when she forgot to tell her mother about a costume she needed for school until it was the night before the play. Miraculously, the costume was complete in the morning in plenty of time for school.
A few years later, when the same daughter was yelling about how unfair life was, and what a terrible mother she was, Denbora stayed in her bubble for three hours straight. Her daughter never did understand how her mother could be flustered and upset one moment, then calm and collected after no more than a moment in her “special room.”
At their youngest child’s high school graduation, more than one person mistook her for a grandmother. She was tired again, but she desperately wished she could turn back the clock, and return all those hours she had stolen from her own life.